Ohio Senate passes bill requiring burial or cremation services after abortions
The Ohio state Senate passed SB 27 on March 27 by a 24-7 vote along party lines. Only one Democrat—Sean J. O’Brien—voted along with 23 other Republicans to require that a woman getting a surgical abortion must have the “fetal remains” buried or cremated. The bill now has to pass through the House and then be signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine. DeWine, if you remember, was accused of playing an incredibly dubious role in anti-choice investigations into Planned Parenthood when he was the state’s attorney general.
The Senate bill would make it a first-degree misdemeanor for medical facilities not to comply with this macabre bit of theater. And while cleveland.com says that women would not be charged under this bill, the language in the bill itself seems to be a bit more vague.
(B) Whoever knowingly violates division (A) of this section is guilty of failure to dispose of fetal remains humanely, a misdemeanor of the first degree.
State Sen. Joe Uecker is a sponsor of the bill, and tells cleveland.com that the bill protects “the dignity of human life.” Uecker knows all about protecting dignity, as he has recently been sued by a constituent for blocking him from his official Facebook page. Turns out, Uecker’s stances on abortion aren’t appreciated by many of the people he represents, but he doesn’t want to dignify dissent with a response. As an aside, Uecker signed on to a bill in 2016 to make people pay money to vote.
Opponents of the bill argue that the additional stresses on women are yet another infringement by government of civil rights and liberties. And while the costs of burying the “fetal remains” would be on the facilities themselves, not the patient, the entire concept is a perverse emotional manipulation. State Sen. Nickie Antonio told reporters that she believed the bill would create undo levels of stress for women exercising their “constitutional right to privacy.”
The bill now moves on to the state House, where Republicans hold a majority as well.