But all that moderation disappears when the issue is abortion. Kasich has a long track record of chipping away at the fundamental right to choose, for example, while DeWine has been described as an “errand boy” for Ohio Right to Life. His office has submitted dozens of amicus briefs in federal litigation unrelated to Ohio, including Arizona’s 20-week abortion ban, in a clear effort to affect the laws beyond the limits of his own power. Reflecting the utter disregard for truth that is endemic to anti-abortion activism, DeWine also endorsed culture warrior Rick Santorum in 2012 with a claim about the abortion rates of fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome that PolitiFact ruled “mostly false.”
So when the so-called ‘Center for Medical Progress’ released a series of misleading videos edited to invent the appearance of a ‘baby parts for cash‘ scheme this summer, and DeWine quickly vowed to get to the bottom of the matter, reproductive freedom advocates were justifiably worried that he might try to lend credence to the fabrication.
During the last five months, however, state after state after state has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing. It was therefore not a surprise when DeWine finally admitted today that his office had discovered no evidence that the organization was selling fetal tissues. Instead, DeWine now claims that Planned Parenthood affiliates in Ohio have failed to “humanely” dispose of aborted fetuses:
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.”First, note that the charge is entirely subjective: what constitutes ‘humane’ disposal of an aborted fetus isn’t clearly spelled out in the statute. Second, reflecting the relatively minor nature of his assertions, DeWine has referred the matter to the Ohio Department of Health, which may end up fining the Planned Parenthood facilities, but will almost certainly hit the waste disposal companies even harder. That’s exactly what Texas did three years ago in a very similar situation that also involved “steam cooking” of tissues.
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.”