Ohio Republicans Now Want Burials and Cremations for Aborted or Miscarried Fetuses December 21, 2015

Ohio Republicans Now Want Burials and Cremations for Aborted or Miscarried Fetuses

Anti-abortion legislators in Ohio are pushing a bill to force burial or cremation for miscarried or aborted fetuses. Ostensibly, it’s all about providing a “respectful way” to dispose of fetal remains; but the move is part of a series of moves against Planned Parenthood by Ohio Republicans.

Attorney General Mike DeWine’s months long investigation into Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in Ohio turned up no evidence that the organization was selling body parts of aborted fetuses, as had been alleged in a video that went viral nationwide. But DeWine filed legal action against those three clinics, saying the medical waste vendors they use were dumping fetal remains into landfills. And that’s something Republican State Representative Kyle Koehler says distresses him.

“Whether they are selling body parts or simply tossing them into landfills doesn’t matter to me anymore.”

Koehler is one of the Republican sponsors of a bill that would require women who undergo abortions at clinics or are treated for miscarriages at hospitals sign a form, designating burial or cremation of fetal remains. And the cost of that would be passed on to the facility which could then pass it on to the women being treated.

And it’s a significant cost, too:

Studies show that abortion in the United States is concentrated among low-income women, yet cremation costs $1,100 on average and burial costs even more, Jezebel noted.

Significant, likely prohibitive in many cases, and completely unnecessary.

… Gabriel Mann of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio says this legislation, and the stated need for it, is all politics.

“This law that Ohio Planned Parenthood affiliates have been following has been in effect for 40 years, 3 months and 14 days and nobody had any problems with them following the law until Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine had to announce that Planned Parenthood was following the law. And he got very frustrated by the fact that he had to tell the truth and now they need a new law.

If Planned Parenthood isn’t breaking the law, well, pro-life Republicans will falsely accuse them of doing so before inventing new and more restrictive laws. And overturning existing fetal remains and medical waste procedures has the added “benefit” of legislating away abortion access for many women by imposing unnecessary costs. It also furthers their “every sperm sacred, every fertilized egg is a baby” mindset by treating a miscarriage or termination at any stage of a pregnancy like you would the death of an actual person.

And it’s not just Ohio where these efforts are finding traction:

Both Indiana and Arkansas passed similar laws this year, and Wisconsin has legislation pending.

And what about piling extra costs and restrictions on women and families whose wanted pregnancies result in miscarriage? Well, apparently that’s just collateral damage in their efforts to prevent abortion access. Really, is it even surprising? Pro-life forces are so focused on their goal of forced births that they rarely trouble themselves with the impact of their efforts on pregnant people — those who want abortions and those who don’t. Let’s face it: a party and a movement that hates abortion so much that it sees no right to life for pregnant women isn’t likely to care about adding grief and financial burden to them, either.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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