For Immediate Release
December 3, 2020
Contact: Molly Smith, President
Ohio House Acts to Recognize Dignity of Aborted Babies
Humane Disposition of Fetal Remains legislation passes Ohio House
COLUMBUS—The members of the Ohio House of Representatives debated and voted on legislation, Senate Bill 27 originally introduced by former senator Joe Uecker, which would ensure the humane and dignified disposition of the remains of children aborted in Ohio. The measure was passed the House on a vote of 60-35.
The bill, supported strongly by the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio (RTLACO), requires abortion providers to inform women prior to the performance of an abortion of their decision on whether to have the body of the aborted child buried or cremated by a licensed funerary or crematorium. Documentation to allow the transfer of the remains to a funeral home or crematoria is required for each set of remains, and a copy of such documentation to be submitted to the Ohio Department of Health.
“We are pleased, even though it has been over a year and a half since the last pro-life legislation in the form of the Heartbeat bill passed this Assembly” commented Molly Smith, President of RTLACO and President, Cleveland Right to Life, “that we have now passed another important bill to honor life and keep the abortion industry accountable.”
The measure was introduced as a result of an investigation in 2015 undertaken by the Charitable Law section of then-Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office on whether or not Ohio’s Planned Parenthood abortion facilities were involved in potentially improper or illegal disposition of fetal remains. In a summary of the investigation report, the Attorney General noted: “It became readily apparent following the receipt of the Planned Parenthood responses that there was no means by which the team could account for the fetuses comprising those totals...the investigation would have undoubtedly benefited from a legal requirement mandating that providers of abortion services document the disposition of each and every fetus taken as a result of an abortion procedure. Absent such a requirement, the team was unable to conclude with certainty that no Planned Parenthood organization engages in transaction of fetuses or fetal tissue.”
“The United States Supreme Court recently upheld a similar Indiana law on this topic, so our elected officials know that this measure has a very strong possibility of standing up against any lawsuits” stated Jeffrey Barefoot, Vice President of RTLACO and Chairman of the Board of Greater Toledo Right to Life. “This type of law is just common sense: treat unborn baby remains with the same respect and handling that is given to other deaths.”
Senate Bill 27 responds to the lack of specificity in Ohio law noted by the Attorney General’s office and would provide verifiable accounting for the disposition of the remains of unborn children terminated through abortion. “The sheer volume of fetal remains from abortion facilities in any given year is tens of thousands” observed Margie Christie, Executive Director of Dayton Right to Life and past president of the Coalition, “Under current law, the remains of these thousands of aborted children could end up in our area landfills and trash. The passage of this bill ensures that Ohio properly disposes of fetal remains in a manner standard to burial customs and safeguards of our public health and safety.”
Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati is a proud member organization of the