Ohio Planned Parenthoods Say Disposal in Landfills is Respectful. Sue State
Planned Parenthood filed a federal suit against the State of Ohio Sunday, according to a press release insisting that dumping aborted babies in landfills with garbage is respectful.
The suit is a response to the Ohio Attorney General’s announcement Friday that he would seek an injunction against the three Ohio Planned Parenthood-affiliated abortion businesses, after an investigation revealing that they disposed of the bodies of aborted babies in a way he called “callous and completely inhumane.”
Attorney General Mike DeWine said he is asking for a narrowly focused injunction to stop the three businesses from disposing of fetal remains as they currently do. In social media communications, however, Planned Parenthood characterized the suit as a “witch hunt” based on “bogus claims” and designed to end abortion in Ohio.
“Planned Parenthood handles medical tissue just like other health care providers do.” CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Jerry Lawson said in the press release. “We work with licensed medical removal companies to handle fetal tissue respectfully and safely. It’s clear from the Attorney General’s press conference that we’ve acted properly and legally, and this is just part of his longstanding political agenda to ban abortion in all cases. We won’t let that happen.”
The same release quoted Sheila Kight, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, as saying, “…we handle medical tissue just like other health care providers do, and we always have. We’re inspected regularly to ensure that we’re handling fetal tissue properly and legally. Politicians in Ohio will stop at nothing to ban abortion in all cases in our state. Today, we’re asking a federal court to prevent the state from this plainly political attempt to restrict women’s access to safe and legal abortion.”
Likewise, a tweet Sunday by Planned Parenthood Federation of America read “Breaking: @PPAOhio says it has filed fed suit, saying it handles disposal of fetal tissue like other medical waste.”
However, it’s that undisputed finding — that Planned Parenthood abortion businesses in Ohio treat the remains of aborted fetuses “like other medical waste” — that is the basis for seeking the injunction.
On Friday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released the results of an investigation into all three Ohio Planned Parenthood abortion centers. Launched after undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress revealed that Planned Parenthood affiliates in some states accepted fees in return for providing organs, limbs, and other parts of the bodies of aborted babies, the investigation found no evidence of that practice at any of the Ohio affiliates.
However, DeWine said, the investigation uncovered unexpected and disturbing information about what the three affiliates do with the bodies. Two of the three, including Cincinnati’s abortion center, mix the bodies of the aborted babies in with the rest of their medical waste and have it “autoclaved” — put into a machine that uses steam and pressure to heat it to more than 250 F. A disposal service takes the “cooked” waste, sterilized by the process, to a landfill in Kentucky.
The Cleveland affiliate, DeWine says, contracts with a different company (IL-based Stericycle) to handle its waste. The investigators were not able to determine whether the waste is autoclaved and taken to landfills, or whether it is incinerated. However, DeWine said, the investigation showed that both Stericycle’s contract with Planned Parenthood and company policy prohibits their handling fetal remains.
Ohio’s law requires that fetal remains be disposed of “humanely.”
“Look, disposing of fetuses — first cooking fetuses and then disposing of them in a landfill is not humane,” DeWine said at a press conference Friday. “They’re going to be mixed in with yesterday’s garbage, and whatever else goes into a landfill… I don’t think the average Ohioan thought that fetuses were being disposed of in landfills. I don’t think the average Ohioan wants that. And we’re not seeking anything other than an injunction to stop them from doing this.”
Planned Parenthood did not respond to our requests for details about what the suit is about or what it is seeking.
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