This Pro-life Republican says Roe v. Wade is ‘The Law of the Land’

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When Ohio Governor John Kasich took part in a Q-and-A session in New Hampshire on Wednesday, it should have come as no surprise that he would be asked about abortion. Kasich took the opportunity to say that Roe v. Wade was "the law of the land," and Americans will "live with it."

One lady asked about the "Holocaust" of abortion, followed by a New Hampshire Libertarian who asked if Kasich could uphold Roe and prove he is not a "threat to a woman's right to control her own body." (Of course, an unborn baby's body is not his mother's body, but that's another issue, too.)

"I'm gonna get the two of you together," Kasich quipped, saying the dueling Republican primary voters should make a new version of Crossfire.

Then he answered: "Obviously, it's the law of the land now, and we live with the law of the land."

He didn't appear to appreciate the irony of that last line.

It's a shame he took that rhetorical tack, since he has a commendable pro-life record as governor. He has signed some 16 pro-life laws, including a ban on abortions after 20 weeks – which he signed six months after taking office – and funding Ohio's women's pregnancy centers in this year's state budget.

His greatest pro-life service was to sign a virtual clone of the Texas pro-life law that required all abortion facilities in the state to have at least one physician on staff who had admitting privileges at a local hospital — and the same law said that no state hospital could grant an abortionist admitting privileges. (Most private hospitals are religious, many of them owned by pro-life churches.)

These and other measures have cut the number of abortion facilities in the Buckeye State in half, shuttering seven of Ohio's 16 abortion clinics – so far.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser and NRO's Ed Whalen criticized Kasich for saying Republicans should accept the court's 1973 landmark decision on abortion.

Kasich has made similar statements about accepting the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision, redefining marriage nationwide.

Kasich is angling to become the Republican Establishment's preferred candidate to Jeb Bush. While Jeb has raised a tremendous amount of money and remains near the top of the polls, Bush continues to slide under the weight of his unpopular positions, lack of charisma, and the nation's lingering Bush fatigue.

The Ohio governor has staked his future on New Hampshire because of its aversion to social issues – a state where John McCain and Mitt Romney excelled. Kasich has surged to third place in the state, in a virtual dead-heat with Bush.

Meanwhile, Jeb's donors are expressing interest in donating to Kasich – that is, in jumping off a sinking ship. At the same time, the Bush campaign is looking for dirt in the way Kasich has given out state contracts – something that could undermine Kasich's image. (As a congressman, Kasich held the first Congressional hearings on corporate welfare in 1999 and briefly campaigned on the issue against Jeb's brother in the 2000 Republican primaries.) “I’ll decline to say anything other than to note the Bush campaign’s growing interest in John Kasich’s candidacy,” said John Kasich's campaign manager, John Weaver.

Kasich may have distanced himself from his party's grassroots, but he's positioning himself expertly to win over the Republican Establishment.