COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — A bill that requires the cremation or internment of surgically removed fetal remains has become law.
Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill, sponsored by former Senator Joe Uecker, on Wednesday.
Previously, Ohio law required that aborted fetuses be disposed of “in a humane manner,” but “humane” was not further defined.
As state attorney general, DeWine investigated allegations regarding Planned Parenthood’s treatment of fetal remains in 2015. His report found no evidence of the illegal disposal that was alleged, but it criticized the organization for disposing of fetal remains in landfills, according to AP.
Planned Parenthood called the finding “inflammatory.” The ACLU of Ohio says clinics already follow “strict state-regulated procedures for the safe and appropriate handling of all biological tissue,” said an AP report.
Ohio Right to Life said in an email statement: “Human life is precious and deserves to be both respected and protected. No child’s broken body should be thrown into the trash.”
The law also addresses other treatment of women seeking abortion, such as giving them copies of reading materials describing the progress of the fetus, 24 hours prior to the abortion.
Kersha Deibel, president of Planned Parenthood in southwest Ohio said in an email statement:
“Senate Bill 27 is an absolutely heinous attempt to shame people who have already made the personal decision to have an abortion. Just like every other outrageous roadblock set up against our patients from the state of Ohio, this legislation has nothing to do with protecting patients or improving health care.
“People in Ohio already face major hurdles when accessing reproductive health care, especially safe, legal abortion. The legislature should focus their attention on promoting laws that strengthen the health and rights of Ohioans and their families, especially in the middle of a pandemic, rather than stigmatizing and shaming people for their private medical decisions.”