Tuesday, January 5, 2021 : By Nathan Skates
Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill requiring the remains of aborted babies be buried or cremated in a “humane” way. The bill requires either the mother or the abortion provider to choose how the unborn infant’s remains will be buried or cremated.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, R, has signed a bill that requires fetal remains from surgical abortions to be buried or cremated. The new law is in response to an investigation into Ohio Planned Parenthood, which found fetal remains in a landfill. Abortion facilities are required to pay for the cost of burial or cremation if the mother does not make other arrangements. Supporters say that it requires those aborted to be treated with some measure of dignity and recognize them as human beings whereas those in opposition call it an unnecessary barrier to abortion access.
The new law requires that fetal remains from surgical abortions be treated in a “humane manner.” The legislation requires a mother to choose burial or cremation or leave it up to the abortion facility to choose. Violation of the law is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Assemblywoman Jena Powell, R-Ohio, told Falkirk Center that the passing of this bill was a victory:
“My job is not complete until every child is protected against the heinous act of abortion. SB27 is a step in the right direction. The law shows that Ohio values life at all stages and affirms the humanity of the unborn. Providing a dignified disposition of the fetus will hopefully reveal their humanity to those who participate in or observe the disposal.”
The law requires that cremated remains be placed “in a grave, crypt, or niche” or be scattered in “any dignified manner, including in a memorial garden, at sea, by air, or at a scattering ground.” A woman must be notified prior to having an abortion that she has the right to choose the method; if she does not, the facility is responsible.
If the facility does not comply, individuals could face first-degree misdemeanor charges that carry a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, praised the act, calling it a “vital piece of pro-life legislation.” He added, “Human life is precious and deserves to be both respected and protected.”
Molly Smith of the Right to Life Coalition of Ohio said, “Although we work for a day when no unborn child in Ohio is killed by abortion, we recognize that, at the very least, accounting for those precious bodies and for their humane disposition is necessary.”
Abortion advocates disagreed with the decision. Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, vice president of government affairs and public advocacy at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, said, “Not only is Senate Bill 27 unconstitutional and medically unnecessary, it also adds yet another barrier for patients who are trying to access abortion services — which is the legislature’s real goal.”
The pro-life movement seeks to stop the practice of abortion, but it is also about preserving the dignity of life. This law effectively humanizes the deceased infant. A funeral honors the deceased, celebrating their life and providing closure for those left behind. By requiring a humane disposition, the humanity of the fetus is recognized and amplified. Abortion is a cruel practice and this law in no way changes that. However, treating the remains of an aborted baby like garbage only compounds that cruelty, disrespecting the Creator and the creation and treating human life as worthless. At least this law will require that the deceased receive that recognition that they, like all human beings, have value.