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Government & Politics

Heartbeat Bill Could Get a Vote in the Ohio Senate This Week

Religious leaders and Ohio Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) talk about the “Heartbeat Bill” to reporters at the Ohio Statehouse.";s:

The Ohio Senate could vote this week on the so called “Heartbeat Bill,” legislation that bans abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Backers are getting some help from evangelical leaders. And they are sending a strong message to Gov. John Kasich and Ohio lawmakers.

Pastor J.C. Church, national director of ministry engagement with the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council is calling on Kasich to either sign it into law or veto it immediately so lawmakers can override the veto before the holiday break - or during the break, if needed. 

“Many will say, ‘It’s the holidays. It’s difficult.’ That doesn’t wash any more ladies and gentleman, not when souls are hanging in the balance.”

The faith leaders say it would be fitting for lawmakers to override the veto on Christmas Day. Senate President Larry Obhof says he expects a vote this week but as for an override, “We will cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Kasich has ten business days to veto the bill if it passes. 

Kasich maintains pledge to veto measure.

Aaron Baer with Citizens for Community Values says if the Senate passes the bill Thursday and Kasich waits the full ten days to veto it, the first day it would be available for an override would be a holy one.

“That would put us on Christmas Day which is kind of fitting.” 

Baer and other leaders of evangelical groups are urging Kasich to immediately veto the bill.

“Yea, well I appreciate their opinion," Kasich said, noting that he’s supported at least 20 bills or rule changes that restrict abortion. “Every army needs to rest.”

Kasich vetoed a similar bill in the lame duck session in 2016, but lawmakers didn’t return to override it.