Christian evangelical leader and founder of “Focus on the Family”James Dobson (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Christian evangelical leader and founder of “Focus on the Family”James Dobson (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The fight over abortion rights in Ohio continued to heat up on Friday as a nationally known evangelist criticized Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s veto of the “heartbeat” bill and called on lawmakers to override the governor.

James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, said Kasich should be “ashamed of himself” for his veto of the bill last week. Dobson called the veto a “cowardly and shameful action.”

Meanwhile Ohio Right to Life praised Kasich saying he made the right choice in signing a 20-week abortion ban and issuing a veto on the “heartbeat” bill which would have likely been challenged in court.

The “heartbeat” bill would have outlawed abortions in Ohio once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

“As we have said for the past several years … the 20-week ban is the absolute best legally strategic approach to saving more babies and withstanding a court challenge,” said Michael Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life.

Ohio became the 18th state to enact a 20-week abortion ban. Federal courts have declared 20-week bans unconstitutional in Arizona and Idaho, so it is possible the Ohio law will face a court challenge.

Kasich said the veto of the “heartbeat” bill and enacting the 20-week ban was the “best, most legally sound and sustainable approach to protecting the sanctity of human life.”

Ohio House leaders are discussing whether to call members back to Columbus to override the governor’s veto. It would take three-fifths of the members, or 60 votes in the House, to override Kasich. The Senate will wait to see what action the House takes before moving on the issue.

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SOURCE: Dayton Daily News, by Anthony Shoemaker