Ohio Governor John Kasich wants to outlaw abortion — but refuses to say who should be punished for performing the procedure.
Abortion has resurfaced as a thorny campaign issue in recent days following Donald Trump’s controversial assertion that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who undergo the procedure.
Despite immediately recanting the statement, the GOP front-runner has since opened himself up to a world of criticism on all sides of the political spectrum.
Third-place Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich has proven no exception.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Kasich argued that Trump was completely wrong to say that women should face legal action for undergoing an abortion.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen the pro-life and the pro-choice people come together to say, you know, that we’ll have to basically work this out and trying to punish a woman would not be the appropriate way to behave,” Kasich said. “And I think it’s going to take people working in a reasonable way working through it.”
That being said, Kasich reiterated multiple times that he is firmly pro-life — and would love nothing more than to see any and all federal legislation enabling abortion to be repealed.
“I am opposed to abortion except in the case of rape, incest and life of the mother. I hope Roe v. Wade will be repealed,” Kasich said. “And then it will be turned to the states, and the states will have to figure out exactly what the restrictions ought to be, period, end of story.”
Stephanopoulos immediately pounced on Kasich, insinuating that the Ohio Governor’s fervent pro-life stance directly contradicted his feisty attack on Trump.
“If you believe that abortion is the taking of innocent life, why shouldn’t a woman who makes the choice to take that life face some kind of punishment or sanctions?” Stephanopoulos asked.
Kasich immediately fired back that the views were indeed compatible with one another, and added he thought the decision to go through with an abortion was punishment enough for women.
Yet when pressed on whether doctors should face legal punishment for carrying out the procedure if it were outlawed, Kasich merely stated that it would be up to subservient state governments in order to make the decision.
“I’ve just told you how I feel about it,” Kasich said. “Repeal Roe v. Wade, make exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother, turn it back to the states for them to decide what they do. We would, you know, ultimately have a policy. It has to be something that can gain acceptance as something that’s reasonable and we’ll go from there.”
Stephanopoulos continued the sparring match by asking what Kasich would do if the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade were scrapped after November — but he was still serving as Governor of Ohio.
“In Ohio, we have made sure that we have transfer agreements. These are things that we have done,” he said. “And I’ve been very careful about making sure that we don’t pass something that’s going to cause a constitutional conflict, which is I think what you were referring to so that the restrictions that we put in place are going to be fine. And I think we’ve behaved there and conducted ourselves appropriately.”
At present, it certainly appears as though Kasich will still be based out of Ohio come November.
According to RealClearPolitics, Kasich is currently polling at just 19.3 percent. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is in second at 31.7 percent, while GOP front-runner Donald Trump is sitting pretty at 42.1 percent.
Kasich has laid claim to 143 Republican delegates thus far, compared to Trump’s 736.
[Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images]