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Ohio’s Republican attorney general has apparently discovered that Planned Parenthood disposes of fetal remains in landfills. While they aren’t providing any details of these allegations, like, oh, how they know whatever fetal remains they found are from Planned Parenthood, they say the practice violates state law. Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, has issued a scathing rebuke.

Ohio’s AG, like so many in other states, started investigating Planned Parenthood after that series of lying videos came out that “proved” they sell baby parts for profit. Republicans, who have long sought ways to restrict access to women’s healthcare, seized on those videos as a way to restrict abortion access without restricting abortion access.

Other states have found zero wrongdoing, and this accusation smacks of a Republican who is so intent on vilifying Planned Parenthood that he’ll fabricate evidence, the same as the Center for Medical Progress did when they released those videos. Those videos are so deceptive that the Supreme Court has blocked an appeal from the maker of the videos to overturn a judge’s order to release the names of those who worked with him to deceive the public.

To be sure, the AG has stated that Planned Parenthood is working with other companies that supposedly toss fetal remains into landfills, however, their statements target Planned Parenthood itself. The response to that from Stephanie Kight, the president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, is perfect:

“These new allegations by the Attorney General that we are improperly disposing of fetal tissue are flat-out false. Planned Parenthood handles medical tissue like any other quality health care provider. Our agreements with vendors all require them to follow state law, and dispose of tissue accordingly. If they are not, then I will take swift action.

This is an administration that has done everything possible to eliminate access to abortion in Ohio — secretly writing laws, working to close health centers, and even appointing the head of Ohio Right to Life to the state medical board. We are seriously concerned that this report is not the result of meaningful investigation, but instead yet another attack on women’s access to health care in the state of Ohio intended to end our ability to continue to provide safe, legal abortion.”

Given the agenda that Ohio Republicans have pursued against Planned Parenthood, is it really hard to guess that a Republican AG would do something like this? They may well have found fetal remains in landfills. However, how they determined, conclusively, that those remains came from Planned Parenthood, is anyone’s guess since they aren’t saying.

Later on, Kight said, in a conference call:

“Fetal tissue is handled by a licensed removal company, just like other health care providers use for all sorts of medical material.”

She couldn’t say whether that company disposed of remains in landfills. However, she did reiterate the point that, if this were the case, she would take swift action.

The big disconnect is between all the investigations that have turned up nothing against Planned Parenthood, and what’s happening in Ohio now. It’s not beyond officials with heavy political agendas to draw connections that later collapse under actual scrutiny. The AG’s office needs to publish its methodology in full before these accusations get taken seriously.

DeWine’s office has sent the matter on to the Department of Health for further action. We wait with bated breath to see exactly what their proof is of this.

 

Image by Hourick. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

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