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Associated Press

Kasich Vetoes 'Heartbeat Bill,' Signs 20-Week Abortion Ban

John Kasich, Presidential race 2016

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill Tuesday banning abortions after 20 weeks, while also vetoing a bill that would have banned abortions at the sound of a baby's first heartbeat. 

Kasich's 20-week abortion ban makes Ohio the 15th state to adopt such a law. The law was created with the intent of protecting unborn children who may be able to feel pain by 20 weeks. 

While pro-life activists are celebrating the 20-week ban, many are disappointed over the governor's decision to veto the so-called "heartbeat bill."

Kasich said the heartbeat bill would have cost Ohio an expensive legal battle against pro-choice advocates. 

"The State of Ohio will be the losing party in that lawsuit and, as the losing party, the State of Ohio will be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists' lawyers," Kasich said. "Therefore, this veto is in the public interest."

Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America calls the vetoed bill the "most pro-life law in the nation" and Kasich's decision "extremely disappointing."

"Gov. Kasich should have signed this bill and let the judicial process play out. It is a shame his veto casts a dark cloud over the victory of the 20-week ban in Ohio," Nance said.

Ohio lawmakers still have the chance to override his veto. That would require a three-fifth majority of each chamber. 

Kasich's recent ban is the first of several pro-life laws many activists hope will pass once President-elect Donald Trump is in office. 

Conservative lawmakers in Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana and Kentucky plan to push for new pro-life legislation as well.

President-elect Donald Trump pledges to support these efforts. 

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