An Ohio judge blocked a pro-life law this week that requires abortion facilities to bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies.
Ohio Capital Journal reports Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Alison Hatheway issued a preliminary injunction to stop the state from enforcing the new law. It was supposed to go into effect Tuesday.
Hatheway said the state has not issued rules for complying with the law yet, and, without them, abortion facilities could be unfairly punished.
“Without the required rules and forms in place, plaintiffs will be forced to stop providing procedural abortions because of the real threat of severe sanctions and penalties independent from criminal prosecution,” she said. “This substantially interferes with, if not denies, the plaintiffs’ patients’ rights to access abortion under the Ohio Constitution.”
Her order blocks Ohio from enforcing the law until 30 days after the rules are in place, according to the report. For now, abortion facilities will be allowed to continue throwing aborted babies’ bodies away with other medical waste.
Signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in December, the Unborn Child Dignity Act 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.
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Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the law earlier this year. They argued that the new requirements will cause a “a sea-change” in how abortion facilities “manage tissue,” according to the AP.
In court this week, attorney Andrew McCartney defended the law on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health, according to the AP.
He said the abortion advocacy groups’ argument is based on “erroneous factual and legal assumptions that they will have to preemptively stop all abortions because of a lack of affirmative assurances” against being punished. The law states that charges for violating the burial/cremation requirements do not apply until the state Department of Health issues the rules.
In March, 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.”
He promised that pro-life Ohioans will never stop advocating for the dignity and value of every human life.
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.