Ohio governor Mike DeWine signed a bill this week requiring that people who receive abortions also bury or cremate the remains from the surgical procedure.
According to Cincinnati Enquirer, Senate Bill 27, which has been signed into law, reads: “the pregnant woman is responsible for the costs related to the final disposition of the fetal remains at the chosen location.”
If the woman does not choose a location for the zygote, blastocyte, embryo or fetus, the abortion facility will select a location for the burial or cremation. If the clinic does not do so, individuals could face a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, those who do not dispose of the remains, could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Opponents to the bill say the additional requirements invade women’s privacy and add additional pressure on abortion providers.
Those who are in favor of the bill say it is about adding “dignity” to the unborn.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life said, “Whether pro-life or pro-choice, everyone should be able to agree that the bodies’ of babies should never be thrown into the trash. The unborn victims of abortion deserve the same basic decency that we afford to all humans: a dignified burial.”
Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, vice president of government affairs and public advocacy at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, said, “”Not only is Senate Bill 27 unconstitutional and medically unnecessary, it also adds yet another barrier for patients who are trying to access abortion services – which is the legislature’s real goal.”
DeWine’s fight against abortion and abortion clinics began in 2015, when DeWine served as attorney general. At the time, he launched an investigation to determine whether or not Planned Parenthood was selling fetal tissue.
They were not.
The investigation found that remains were being transported to a Kentucky landfill. Ohio law stated that the disposal had to be human. DeWine argued Planned Parenthood’s procedures were not that.
In addition to the disposal of the remains, DeWine has consistently sought to reduce access to abortions.
Last year, he restricted abortions after six weeks into pregnancy. The law, commonly referred to as “the heartbeat bill” is currently being challenged in court.