When asked about controversial provisions of the new state budget concerning restrictions on abortion rights, John Kasich repeatedly reminded that he is “pro-life.” A spokesman for the governor provided the same answer on Sunday evening after Kasich signed the budget and the abortion items were not among the provisions the governor chose to veto.
No one expected the governor to change his mind about abortion. What should have offended and earned a veto was the process.
How easy it would have been for him to reiterate his position and then explain that such policy-making should not be conducted in the crafting of a budget — and certainly not at the last minute, provisions slipped into the spending bill without hearings, let alone full discussion.
One Republican state representative, Ross McGregor of Springfield, was so offended about this “perversion of the process” that he voted against the entire budget bill. “The process has been twisted so egregiously,” he told the Springfield News-Sun, “that it put me over the edge.”
Now Ohio has adopted extreme measures, among other things, lawmakers ordering doctors how to conduct their practices, almost ensuring long rounds of litigation. All the governor had to say was: No, this isn’t how it should be done.