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Governor John Kasich has not supported the 'Heartbeat Bill' in the past, and suggested Monday he will again oppose it.

COLUMBUS, OH, August 18, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Presidential candidate John Kasich is running on a “pro-life” platform, but many pro-lifers in Ohio believe that as governor, he has proven to be a pro-life “pretender.”

In a new interview, Kasich admits that while abortion is an “important” issue to him, it is only one among many issues, and it will not be a top priority in a Kasich administration.

Furthermore, Kasich actually criticized pro-life politicians who prioritize the right-to-life issue, saying Republicans should not be “put in a box” on abortion.

“I think Republicans allowed themselves to be put in a box [on abortion],” he said on CNN's State of the Union

“I think [abortion] is an important issue, but I think there are many other issues that are really critical,” Kasich said.

Kasich then listed several other issues of apparently at least equal concern to him, including “the environment” and, ironically, “infant mortality.” He concluded, “I think we [Republicans] focus too much on just one issue.”

Former Kasich spokesperson Janet Porter, president of Faith2Action, told LifeSiteNews that Kasich has betrayed the pro-life movement by his refusal to support pro-life legislation as Ohio governor. “Governor John Kasich must either support the pro-life Heartbeat Bill or quit calling himself pro-life,” she stated.

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The former Kasich camper continued, “If you don't like what you see on the Planned Parenthood videos, blame the people like Gov. John Kasich, who is allowing it to happen and actively working against the effort to stop it.”

During the CNN interview, Kasich did not explain how he can be a pro-life leader and yet consider the issue of abortion overemphasized by his party. Nor did his interviewer, Dana Bash, ask any follow up questions, such as, “If abortion is no more important than Head Start, then how will we have children to teach that every life is precious and to be protected?”

When asked about exceptions he feels would justify aborting the conceived baby, Kasich admitted, “I've always been for exceptions for rape and incest.” When asked why he officially opposes abortion but supports abortion in certain cases, Kasich answered that abortion in such cases is “reasonable.”

Porter concluded, “My message to the people of Iowa and New Hampshire is: beware of John Kasich. He is a pro-life pretender.” 

At one point in the interview, Bash asked Kasich about the influence of his faith. He responded, “I don't read the Bible to decide what I think.”

During the Republican debate, Kasich raised concerns among social conservatives when he expressed support for gay “marriage”. “I happen to believe in traditional marriage,” Kasich said, “But … the [Supreme] Court has ruled … and I accept it.”

Kasich added that he recently attended the homosexual “wedding” of a friend.

Former American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fisher commented on Kasich attending a homosexual “wedding,” saying on his radio program, “It depends on what you think of homosexual behavior. … If you have somebody you loved and they were dealing crack and they were opening up a new crack house [with] a grand opening celebration … would you go? Of course not.”

Kasich’s comments supporting gay “marriage” were applauded by Democrats and Republicans alike.  His campaign has surged recently in New Hampshire polls after a strong debate performance.