Ohio Gov. John Kasich hasn’t been popular among many pro-life activists after he pledged to veto an anti-abortion bill that his legislature passed this year.
On Friday, he might have regained some of their respect, as he approved a measure that would block a common abortion procedure performed in the second trimester, Cleveland.com reported.
Kasich, however, vetoed “heartbeat” legislation that would have made the state one of the most pro-life in the nation. That type of policy, which faced a legal challenge in Iowa, would ban abortions after the point when a doctor can detect a heartbeat.
The Ohio governor also vetoed a “stand your ground” law as well as pay increases for public officials, according to Fox News.
Nevertheless, Kasich’s approval might save thousands of unborn children every year — the state saw 3,000 of those procedures in 2015 — and could raise an important legal challenge to Supreme Court precedent on abortion.
In response to his decisions, Kasich received both praise and criticism.
“Ohio Right to Life is immensely grateful to our governor and our pro-life legislature for prioritizing this crucial legislation,” Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis said in a statement.
Kellie Copeland, who serves as NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s executive director, blasted Kasich’s decision as “reckless” and argued that the new law didn’t include exceptions for rape and incest.
“It is clear this is just a political talking point for Kasich and in no way a sincerely held moral conviction,” she said. She also lamented that Kasich had banned “a very safe and common method used in second-trimester abortions.”
Those procedures, known as “dilation and evacuation” or “D&E” abortions, involve a doctor literally tearing a fetus to pieces and crushing its skull.
Watch a doctor explain the procedure below:
According to the Mayo Clinic, mothers can also experience perforation of the uterus, infection, and tearing of the cervix after the doctor scrapes the inside of their uterus with a spoon-like device.
As IJR previously reported, Kentucky, Mississippi, and West Virginia all had policies banning the practice. But Ohio’s, as was the case with many other states, could face substantial legal challenges from groups like Planned Parenthood or the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Those laws were just part of an apparent strategy by pro-lifers to advance state-level initiatives that could provide a test case for overturning Supreme Court precedents like the one set in Roe v. Wade. As IJR previously noted, newly approved Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh could give the court the conservative majority necessary to strike down abortion protections.