OH AG: Planned Parenthood facilities disposed of fetal remains i - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

OH AG: Planned Parenthood facilities disposed of fetal remains in landfills

Investigation continues into Planned Parenthoods in Ohio. (Source: WOIO) Investigation continues into Planned Parenthoods in Ohio. (Source: WOIO)
Attorney General Mike DeWine provided updates on the department's investigation into Planned Parenthood on Friday. (Source: WOIO) Attorney General Mike DeWine provided updates on the department's investigation into Planned Parenthood on Friday. (Source: WOIO)
COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) -

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says his office has wrapped up its investigation into the alleged sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood affiliates. While the investigation did not find any indication that fetal tissue was sold by Planned Parenthood affiliates in Ohio, it did reveal that aborted fetuses from the facilities are ultimately disposed of in landfill sites.

Earlier this year, DeWine directed his Charitable Law Section to investigate whether Planned Parenthood affiliates in Bedford Heights, Cincinnati, and Columbus were violating Ohio law by selling fetal tissue, or abortion trafficking, in violation of Ohio Revised Code 2919.14. The Charitable Law Section requested documents and financial records from Planned Parenthood organizations, as well as companies with whom they contracted. The investigation did not find that fetal tissue was sold by Planned Parenthood affiliates in Ohio.

The investigation showed that the disposal methods documented by the Planned Parenthood affiliates violate Ohio Administrative Code 3701-47-05, adopted in 1975, which requires that a "fetus shall be disposed of in a humane manner."

Specifically: All three Ohio Planned Parenthood affiliates have sent fetal remains to companies, which then disposed of the fetuses in landfills. During a press conference Friday afternoon, DeWine said the fetuses were steam cooked before disposal. 

Additionally, the Planned Parenthood facility in Bedford Heights stated it uses only one company for disposal. However, that company stated to investigators it does not accept fetal remains for disposal as a corporate policy.

"Disposing of aborted fetuses from an abortion by sending them to a landfill is callous and completely inhumane," said DeWine. "It is important the public be aware that these practices are taking place at these Ohio facilities."

Planned Parenthood Response

In response to DeWine’s report, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Stephanie Kight, issued the following statement:

“As we have always maintained, and as the Attorney General has now confirmed, the original accusations that Planned Parenthood “sold fetal tissue” were completely unfounded and untrue.

“These new allegations by the Attorney General that we are improperly disposing of fetal tissue are flat-out false. Planned Parenthood handles medical tissue like any other quality health care provider. Our agreements with vendors all require them to follow state law, and dispose of tissue accordingly. If they are not, then I will take swift action.

“This is an administration that has done everything possible to eliminate access to abortion in Ohio --- secretly writing laws, working to close health centers, and even appointing the head of Ohio Right to Life to the state medical board. We are seriously concerned that this report is not the result of meaningful investigation, but instead yet another attack on women’s access to health care in the state of Ohio intended to end our ability to continue to provide safe, legal abortion.”

DeWine referred his investigative findings to the Ohio Department of Health for further action.  

"Our job was to find the facts. Those are the facts and we've made them public today," said DeWine at the press conference.

Since there is no criminal or civil penalty, the director of Health has asked the Attorney General's Office to apply for an injunction against the three Ohio Planned Parenthood facilities. DeWine says lawyers are now preparing a legal action, which will be filed in a court of common pleas.

"This is a very narrowly crafted asking for an injunction from prohibiting them from disposing of fetuses in this manner. And that is all it will be doing," said DeWine.

According to DeWine, it will be up to the director of Health to adopt the rules for abortions, including the proper way to dispose of fetuses. 

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