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'Heartbeat Bill' Backers Retaliate Against Republican State Senator

Ohio Senate

Backers of the six week abortion ban known as the “Heartbeat Bill” are upset after lawmakers’ attempt to override Gov. John Kasich’s veto failed. The measure passed the Ohio House but failed by a single vote in the Ohio Senate.

Now, abortion opponents are retaliating against Bill Beagle, a Republican state senator who flipped his vote at the last minute.

Beagle voted for the bill earlier this month but didn’t vote to override the veto. Longtime “Heartbeat Bill” supporter Lori Viars sees Beagle as a traitor and wants him fired from a new job with Ohio’s Republican Treasurer-elect Robert Sprague.

“This is not acceptable, and his betrayal should not be rewarded,” Viars said. “Bill Beagle lied.”

Beagle’s Facebook page has been inundated with messages from angry constituents who are circulating a petition to get Beagle fired. Beagle has not responded to a request for an interview on the subject. 

Beagle was not the only Republican in the Ohio Senate who voted against overriding Kasich's veto of the bill. Republican state Sens. John Eklund, Gayle Manning, Matt Dolan and Stephanie Kunze also voted against the veto override, but all four of them also voted against the bill itself earlier this month.

All Democrats in the legislature voted against the “Heartbeat Bill.”

Legislators pledged to revisit the "Heartbeat Bill" next session, and incoming Gov. Mike DeWine says he will sign it.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.