A new Ohio law requires the fetal remains of an abortion to be cremated or buried, and it places the burden on abortion clinics if the woman declines involvement.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Dec. 30 signed into law Senate Bill 27, which states “a pregnant woman who has a surgical abortion has the right to determine” if the “fetal remains” will be cremated or buried. She also has the right under the bill to determine the “location for the final disposition.”
If the pregnant woman doesn’t want to be involved, then “the abortion facility shall determine whether final disposition shall be by cremation or interment,” the new law says.
The new law also requires abortion clinics to maintain records of cremations and burials.
“An abortion facility shall maintain evidentiary documentation demonstrating the date and method of the disposition of fetal remains from surgical abortions performed or induced in the facility,” the law says.
Under the text of the law, abortion clinic officials can be found guilty of a misdemeanor by violating the law. The law explicitly states that the pregnant woman “is not guilty” if she fails to cremate or bury fetal remains under the text of the law.
The bill passed the state Senate 23-7, and the state House, 60-36.
Supporters called it the Unborn Child Dignity Act. Ohio Right to Life applauded DeWine for signing it.
“No longer will the tiny bodies of babies whose lives have been tragically taken by abortion be treated like trash,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “In Ohio, we respect life and we bury our dead. The abortion industry, who has for decades tried to convince women that the lives of their children don’t matter and should simply be thrown away, will now be unable to hide behind this blatant lie.
“... No child’s broken body should be thrown into the trash,” he added. “The Unborn Child Dignity Act is a crucial step forward towards ending Planned Parenthood’s calloused treatment of human life.”
The bill passed after a 2016 investigation by DeWine “found that Planned Parenthood’s Ohio locations had been sending aborted fetal remains to landfills,” Ohio Right to Life said.
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.