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Ohio Senate Bill, Unborn Child Dignity Act Calls for Humane Treatment of Fetal Remains

A bill is making its way through the Ohio General Assembly that would require fetal remains to be treated humanely after an abortion.

Senate Bill 28, called the Unborn Child Dignity Act, currently is in an Ohio Senate committee and expected to eventually make it to Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s desk for his signature.

Ohio Senator, Joe Uecker

“I have no doubt the governor will sign the bill into law,” said Ohio Sen. Joe Uecker, the bill’s main sponsor. “There is no reason to doubt that at all.”

The bill will also include language making the facility that performs the abortion responsible for incurring the cost of a burial or cremation of the aborted baby.

Uecker, a Miami Township Republican in his last term in the senate, says proper burials need to be given to aborted babies. “We must treat them as humanely as we can,” he said. “I am against abortion, but in the meantime, we need to respect the bodies of the ones who have been aborted and make sure they don’t end up in the trash anymore.”

The Unborn Child Dignity Act was introduced in 2015 after Ohio Attorney General Mike De Wine’s office announced that Planned Parenthood locations throughout the state were depositing remains of aborted babies in landfills.

Last year, the Ohio Senate passed the bill, which was then sent to the House of Representatives. It made its way out of committee but never made it to the floor for a vote. “Now we are starting over,” Uecker said. “My goal is to have the bill out of the senate in June and then approved as soon as possible. This cannot wait any longer.”

“We are strongly in favor of this and encourage it to be passed as soon as possible,” said Katie Franklin, director of communications for Ohio Right to Life. “Hopefully it will be out of the senate by summer, because we certainly want to put a stop to any future mass graves of aborted babies in landfills.”

Once it makes it to the floor, Uecker expects a party line vote which would be good news for Ohio Right to Life, which supports the bill. Republicans hold a 24-9 majority in the senate and have a two-thirds edge in the house.

“We are strongly in favor of this and encourage it to be passed as soon as possible,” said Katie Franklin, director of communications for Ohio Right to Life. “Hopefully it will be out of the senate by summer, because we certainly want to put a stop to any future mass graves of aborted babies in landfills.”

The issue came to light in 2014 when the national Planned Parenthood organization was caught on undercover videotapes describing what happened to aborted remains. These tapes were seen worldwide and led to allegations that body parts were being sold for experimentation.

Soon after, Mike DeWine’s office looked into Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio to make sure nothing similar was taking place in his state. No evidence of selling or experimenting with the remains was found. However, the investigation did reveal the Cincinnati and Columbus Planned Parenthood locations were shipping the aborted remains of babies to landfills in Kentucky, according to Dan Tierney, spokesperson for Mike DeWine’s office.

He said the remains were being autoclaved and then transported to landfills for disposal. The autoclave procedure includes a high heat pressure chamber used to carry out industrial processing and sterilization.

“In the attorney general’s opinion, this was not a humane way to dispose of aborted fetus parts,” Tierney added. Planned Parenthood was instructed to stop taking the body parts to landfills.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio objected and filed papers in court where a judge determined the Ohio Revised Code wording to be “too vague” when it came to treating unborn remains humanely, Tierney said.

According to the ORC 2919.14, “No person shall experiment upon or sell the product of human conception which is aborted. Experiment does not include autopsies pursuant to sections 313.13 and 2108.50 of the ORC.”

“We are confident this language [in SB28] will be very clear when it’s passed,” Franklin said. “No aborted child deserves to be tossed into a landfill – it is neither dignified or humane.”

According to Ohio Right to Life, there were 20,976 abortions performed in Ohio in 2015.

Uecker added he is proud to be the sponsor of the bill, and also proud of his 100 percent pro-life voting record. “You just don’t treat people this way,” he said. “We would not do this to a person who has lived 80 years, so we should not do this to a child who has been aborted. It’s just a matter of respect and quite frankly the humane thing to do.”

According to Ohio Right to Life, there were 20,976 abortions performed in Ohio in 2015.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio in Columbus was asked directly for a comment on its positions on SB 28 and did not respond to the request.

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