Ohio GOP Wants Planned Parenthood To Cremate Fetuses

REALLY? Ohio’s GOP Announces Bill To Require Burials Or Cremations For Fetuses

How Ohio’s GOP is dragging out the War on Women and Planned Parenthood.

After wasting taxpayer money on their pointless Planned Parenthood investigation and pushing the non-issue to the brink of threatening a government shutdown, the zeal of Republicans in Congress has dissipated. With the state of Ohio’s GOP lawmakers, it’s a different story, as they continue their party’s war on these women’s clinics by introducing a series of allegations predicated on false and misleading information about the organization.

A Judge ordered the state’s attorney general to drop the lawsuit against Planned Parenthood he announced on Dec. 11, so on Monday, Ohio’s GOP legislature  announced plans to introduce a bill that would require women who have abortions or miscarriages to designate the burial or cremation of fetuses. The fees would be passed on to the facilities providing these services, which would be passed on to the women being treated.

The proposed bills are a result of claims made by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine that aborted fetuses from Planned Parenthood facilities were disposed of in landfills by either Planned Parenthood or the biomedical companies they work with to handle the fetal tissues. Planned Parenthood has responded to the efforts of many Ohio legislators by filing a lawsuit for a federal injunction barring Ohio officials from interfering with their services.

Planned Parenthood has been on the defense against pro-life politicians and activists since fabricated videos were released earlier this year depicting undercover footage of Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue, which was edited and had footage added to it in order to emphasize the anti-Planned Parenthood stance of the Center for Medical Progress.

Meanwhile, the anti-choice crowd keeps spreading false information:

These claims from Ohio officials are a means of harassment towards abortion providers in the state of Ohio and the women who seek treatment at these providers. This constant barrage of outrageous accusations towards Planned Parenthood is a political vendetta against women and abortion rights.  Investigations of Planned Parenthood continue to produce no evidence of wrongdoing. Attorney General Dewine found no evidence of the fetal tissue sales, so he made a claim of improper disposal of fetal tissue.

Ohio legislators and officials are coming up with any means necessary to tarnish the integrity of Planned Parenthood to expedite their own political agendas. There is no evidence Planned Parenthood has engaged in any criminal practices. By constantly accusing them of illegal practices, the opposition to Planned Parenthood hopes to rally support in order to dismantle the clinics and services Planned Parenthood provides, which are vital to marginalized communities with no other forms of medical access for many of the services they provide.

The Republican party’s war on women and Planned Parenthood continue: Most recently, Ohio state legislators announced plans to introduce a bill that would require women who have abortions or miscarriages to designate the burial or cremation of fetuses.

In response to the hoax videos from the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress, Congress wasted taxpayer money over a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform regarding the allegations in the video of Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissues for profit. After grilling Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards over the videos and use of federal funding the organization receives, none of which are used towards abortions, some Republicans pushed the issue to the brink of threatening a government shutdown over it. Since that crisis was averted, the attacks on Planned Parenthood within the federal government have dissipated, but on a state level, Ohio is leading the way on scrounging for any shred of evidence that would serve as a catalyst to de-funding or downsizing the organization, and abortion services in general.

If anti-choicers want to prevent abortions, defunding Planned Parenthood is counter-productive…and dangerous.

Attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and decrease access to their services is counter-productive to pro-life activists trying to decrease abortion rates. The family planning programs of Planned Parenthood have been proven to reduce abortion rates and unwanted pregnancies and also results in billions of dollars in public savings every year.

The coat hanger is a notorious symbol for the unsafe self-induced abortions women with unwanted pregnancies used to be forced to be subjected to prior to the Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court in 1973. Just this month, a woman in Tennessee was charged with attempted murder for a failed self-induced abortion attempt with a coat hanger. According to the National Women’s Law Center, as of 2010, 59 percent of women in Tennessee live in a county without an abortion provider. As services for abortions are eliminated, more women under pressure attempt self-induced abortions, risking their own lives in the process.

A recent report in the state of Texas suggests a link between closures of abortion providers and findings that nearly two percent of the women in Texas have attempted to induce an abortion themselves. The coat hanger not only symbolizes the inherent dangers of making abortion illegal, but it represents the inequality of reducing safe access to abortion services, in that it overwhelmingly effects those who would not be able to afford abortion services or to travel somewhere that provides abortion services. Women continue to have the right to choose to terminate an early unwanted pregnancy or take contraceptives to prevent one, but for many women those choices are elusive due to the constraints of resources at their disposal. When government officials and legislators, such as those in Ohio, seek to reduce the power women have over their bodies by decreasing access to safe abortion and family planning services, they are disproportionately impacting the demographics of women who need that power the most.

Photo by ctrouper