Burial for Aborted Babies? Planned Parenthood's Landfill Use Spurs Action in Ohio
After a months-long investigation by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine revealed that Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in that state were dumping aborted babies in landfills, a state lawmaker is now pushing to have those children's remains buried or cremated.
"All three Ohio Planned Parenthood affiliates have sent fetal remains to companies which disposed of the fetuses in landfill," the investigative report by DeWine shows according to lifenews.
"Disposing of aborted fetuses from an abortion by sending them to a landfill is callous and completely inhumane," added DeWine. "It is important the public be aware that these practices are taking place at these Ohio facilities."
DeWine said the actions of Planned Parenthood is in violation of Ohio Revised Code (3701-47-05) which requires that aborted fetal remains be disposed humanely.
Reacting to the report, according to the Dayton Daily News, State Rep. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield, introduced legislation on Monday that would require a pregnant woman who has an abortion to decide the method by which the aborted fetus will be disposed.
"It's unacceptable," Koehler noted in the report. "It's a public health issue. It's also an issue of doing what's humane with these children who they've aborted. I think we need to look into it and make sure we're not doing it."
The proposed legislation would require the Ohio Department of Health to create more stringent rules for abortion clinics, including defining the methods of disposal.
According to lifenews, the bill would limit the number of options available to abortionists to humane burial and cremation. It would also increase informed consent by requiring full disclosure to women pursuing abortions of the abortionist's intent for disposing of the aborted baby. A penalty for the violation of the statute as a first degree misdemeanor would also be set.
Planned Parenthood argues however that it follows Ohio law and uses the same practices as hospitals and other facilities, which generally contract with companies to dispose of medical waste according to the Daily News.
In an e-mail to the Springfield News-Sun, Danielle Craig, director of communications for Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region said the ways they dispose of aborted babies and other human tissue are "adequate and respectful."
"It is important to remember that the goal of these legislators is to eliminate safe, legal abortion by creating as many barriers as possible," she said.
Koehler said Planned Parenthood states that fetal remains have been disposed of in sanitary landfills for 40 years.
"For me, they repeated a number of times that they've been doing the same thing for 40 years and nobody complained," Koehler said. "Well, maybe nobody knew."
Craig explained that aborted babies are handled by licensed removal companies that use different methods for managing it, including sterilization and incineration.
"Once the tissue has been treated one way or the other, it does usually end up in a sanitary landfill," she said.
According to the Dayton Daily News, the proposed bill doesn't apply to fetuses from miscarriages and stillborn births, only abortion clinics. The bill doesn't change abortion laws or take the choice away from the mother.
"We need to choose to do something that's dignified," Koehler said. "I understand people disagree on the issue of abortion, but we have to agree that we have to do something humane to treat these children with the respect that they deserve.
"We're putting the decision in the hands of the mother," Koehler said. "We're trying to take it out of the hands of Planned Parenthood."