John Kasich on Abortion
Republican Governor; previously Representative (OH-12); 2000 candidate for President
Kasich chose instead to sign off on a 20-week ban similar to those now in effect in 15 states and blocked from enforcement in two others. The measures are based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain then, which opponents characterize as scientifically unsound. Ohio lawmakers rejected a Democratic amendment that would have added exceptions for rape and incest.
Kasich said the heartbeat provision would have been struck down: "The State of Ohio will be the losing party in that lawsuit and will be forced to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists' lawyers," Kasich said. "Therefore, this veto is in the public interest."
In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich signed a bill imposing a 20-week abortion ban based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain then, which opponents characterize as scientifically unsound. Kasich vetoed stricter provisions in a so-called heartbeat bill that would have prohibited most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy, noting that the heartbeat provision would have been struck down.
But when Kasich signed a bill in February cutting $1.3 million in funding to Planned Parenthood, he did not cut funds for abortion care; those services are not covered by state money. Instead, he slashed funds for the organization's sexually transmitted infection testing, and mother and newborn care, and anti-domestic violence programs.
KASICH: Well, I agree that we should defund Planned Parenthood. I don't know many people in America who don't think that we should, and in my state, we're trying to figure out how to get it done, because we are threatened with the federal government taking all of our Medicaid money away. I think there is a way to get this done by giving governors the ability to be able to act to defund Planned Parenthood. But when it comes to closing down the federal government, you gotta be very careful about that. I was in the Congress for 18 years; there are ways to do it without having to shut the government down, but I'm sympathetic to the fact that we don't want this organization to get funding, and the money ought to be reprogrammed for family planning in other organizations that don't support this tactic.
KASICH: I think Planned Parenthood ought to be defunded, no question about it. We're doing everything we can in Ohio to figure out how to get that done. Although, if you're going to shut the government down, you're never going to get anything signed by the president because he's in total opposition. So you'd shut the government down, and then over time you'd have to open it back up again and you wouldn't have achieved much. So I think there other ways for Congress to deal with this. In this case, the President's made it clear that he's not going to sign it. Now I'm willing to fight all day long, but you've got to have a good prospect of being able to be successful because if you're not successful, you haven't achieved anything, you're going to have people shake their heads and wonder what your thinking was.
Q: Should there be exceptions?
A: Yes, I have always been for exceptions.
Q: Which ones?
A: For rape, incest, and life of the mother.
Q: Two of your competitors, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, said they're for no exceptions. Does that make you more electable?
A: No matter what your position is on the issue, you have to have respect for people. And I do. And it's an issue that people have a right to have a different point of view.
Q: Do you think that they would be electable against a Democrat, if they support no exceptions?
A: Well, I think that it's an important issue, but I think there's many other issues that are really critical, early childhood, infant mortality, the environment, education. I think we focus too much on just one issue.
Q: But it's one that matters in a lot of people's lives.
A: To a lot of people on both sides.
Q: Why are exceptions part of your belief?
A: Because I think it's reasonable.
[Shortly afterwards, I bumped into the daughter], pregnant with another child, the same young woman who had just received that awful diagnosis. She spoke as though I already knew about her condition. She was bubbly and cheerful and positive, saying, "Everybody in my church is praying for me, but what I really want is for them to look at my trial and to find their faith."
Her doctors were not treating her cancer as aggressively as they wanted to because of her concern for her unborn child--an example of her selfless faith. I couldn't believe the strength, and the strength of character, of this young woman, facing a miserable prognosis with her cancer, thinking not of herself but of others. I said, "Jesus would marvel at your faith." She reminded me of Job, actually.
The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.
The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic:"Public funding of abortions, (such as govt. health benefits and Planned Parenthood)"