An Ohio judge granted an initial victory to pro-lifers this week when she refused to block a state law that requires abortion facilities to cremate or bury the remains of aborted babies.
On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the Unborn Child Dignity Act.
But Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Alison Hatheway refused their request to block the state from enforcing the law, arguing that doing so would be premature, WOSU Radio reports.
“I do agree with the state in that I’m not convinced that there is immediate and irreparable harm at this time, because the legislation is not due to take effect until April 6,” she said.
The judge scheduled another hearing on the case for later this month, according to the report.
Signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in December, the law is similar to an Indiana law that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2019. It requires the Ohio Department of Health to establish rules for the proper and humane burial or cremation of aborted babies, and requires abortion facilities to pay for them. It also creates penalties for violations. Such laws not only ensure that aborted babies’ bodies are treated with dignity and respect, they also are a safeguard against abortion facilities trying to sell aborted baby body parts.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU argues that that law takes effect on April 6, but the state does not have to issue rules until July 5.
“The absence of regulations leaves Ohio abortion providers in an impossible situation …” it said in a statement. “We file this complaint to ensure that we are not vulnerable to severe sanctions, fines and penalties, including potential license revocation, during this interim period.” However, it did not explain how abortion facilities could be punished under non-existent regulations.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, slammed the lawsuit as more proof of the abortion industry’s callous disregard for innocent life.
“Requiring the broken bodies of abortion victims to be humanely buried is simply common decency,” Gonidakis said. “The abortion industry’s desire to deny the innocent unborn even the right to a proper burial reveals where their allegiances lie: not with basic decency, but with their bottom line.
“Regardless of all obstacles thrown in our way, Pro-Life Ohio will never cease our advocacy until the dignity of every precious and irreplaceable human life is both respected and protected under law,” he continued.
The pro-abortion groups that filed the lawsuit are the ACLU, ACLU of Ohio, Northeast Ohio Women’s Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region and Preterm-Cleveland.
In the past several years, a number of states have passed legislation to regulate how abortion facilities dispose of aborted babies’ bodies. Their actions came in the wake of viral undercover videos that exposed top officials at Planned Parenthood negotiating the prices of aborted babies’ body parts. Later, the Ohio Attorney General’s office discovered that Planned Parenthoods in Ohio contract with waste disposal companies that dispose of aborted babies in landfills. Indiana passed a similar law and later won a victory at the Supreme Court in 2019.
A gruesome discovery inside a late Indiana abortionist’s garage in 2019 further demonstrated the need for such laws. In September 2019, authorities found 2,246 medically preserved remains of aborted babies stored in boxes in the former Indiana abortionist Ulrich Klopfer’s garage in Illinois. A few weeks later, they found 165 more babies’ remains in a vehicle stored on one of his properties. Klopfer’s family reported finding the remains shortly after he died.