An investigation by the attorney general of Ohio found that Planned Parenthood affiliates in the state are improperly disposing of aborted fetal parts in landfills, his office said Friday. The disposal methods violate an Ohio administrative code that requires that a “fetus shall be disposed of in a humane manner,” the Columbus Dispatch reported.
“Disposing of aborted fetuses from an abortion by sending them to a landfill is callous and completely inhumane,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement, according to the Dispatch. “It is important the public be aware that these practices are taking place at these Ohio facilities.”
The investigation found that three Planned Parenthood affiliates -- in Bedford Heights, Cincinnati and Columbus -- sent fetal remains to companies that disposed of them in landfills, WXIX-TV in Cincinnati reported. Planned Parenthood denied DeWine’s conclusions Friday.
“This is not true. Planned Parenthood contracts with vendors to handle fetal tissue in a respectful manner and in accordance with the law. It is irresponsible for the attorney general to say otherwise,” Stephanie Kight, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Ohio, said in a statement.
DeWine, a Republican and former U.S. senator, said his investigation did not find that Planned Parenthood clinics improperly sold any fetal tissue, which was the original reason for opening the probe. The attorney general’s office launched the investigation in July to find out if any clinics were violating Ohio law by abortion trafficking, or selling fetal tissue.
The investigation came shortly after a national controversy erupted, set off by a video from the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group. The video showed a Planned Parenthood official in Los Angeles talking about tissues of aborted fetuses and body parts with two people pretending to be representatives of a biologics company.
Many Republican politicians used the secretly recorded video, and others like it, to launch a new set of attacks on Planned Parenthood and to call for Congress to defund the the healthcare provider. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is running for president, released a statement Friday about DeWine’s new findings on Ohio Planned Parenthood clinics.
“The attorney general has done thorough work, and his findings are disturbing. I’ve tasked the Ohio Department of Health to work with the attorney general to take appropriate legal action. This investigation shows the need for further work with the Ohio General Assembly to rein in Planned Parenthood, while continuing to ensure access to vital health care services for women,” the governor said, according to the Dispatch.
DeWine has referred his investigation’s findings to the Ohio Health Department, which oversees abortion clinics. Health officials could seek an injunction in court to force Planned Parenthood to stop the disposal of fetal remains in landfills.
Ohio Health Director Rich Hodges said in a statement Friday his office will work with the attorney general to “pursue appropriate legal action including seeking a court order to restrict Planned Parenthood activities where violations of law have occurred.”