COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law Wednesday legislation banning abortion in most cases after the unborn child has reached the age of viability.

Kasich, a pro-life Republican, approved The Viable Infants Protection Act (HB 78), banning abortion generally after 20 weeks gestation. The law had passed both the Ohio House and Senate with bipartisan majorities.

“By signing this critical pro-life legislation, Governor Kasich demonstrated to all Ohioans that the health and welfare of birth mothers and their unborn children are of paramount importance to the state of Ohio,” stated Mike Gonidakis, Ohio Right to Life’s executive director. 

Gonidakis said Department of Health statistics showed that a 35-week-old unborn child was aborted last year in the state.

“From now on, these babies and their mothers will be protected.”

The law has no exceptions for rape or incest, but allows late-term abortion after 20 weeks gestation if the mother’s physical life is in danger or if she faces “serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

Under these circumstances, the abortionist also has to certify that he could not end the pregnancy in a way that would give the unborn child the best chance to survive without risking greater danger to the mother.

Ohio Right to Life praised the bill as the most important pro-life legislation passed by the legislature in years, saying that it contributes to a national pro-life strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade. That 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision, along with its companion case Doe v. Bolton, overturned U.S. state laws criminalizing abortion on the basis that abortion was part of an implied right to privacy protected in the US Constitution.