COLUMBUS — The Ohio House has scheduled a vote later today for Senate Bill 27, legislation that would require health care facilities to dispose of biological tissue following an abortion through cremation or burial. The bill passed the Senate on March 27, 2019.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “This bill isn’t about making sure pregnant people have options. It’s about limiting which options exist. It’s about shaming patients who choose to have an abortion, and the medical professionals who provide abortion care. It’s about putting abortion out of reach for Ohioans, and that puts lives at risk.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio strongly opposes Senate Bill 27. Medical facilities that provide abortion services handle biological material just like other medical facilities around the state. They contract with companies that handle biological material in accordance with Ohio Revised and Administrative Code. Politically motivated investigations by Dave Yost (as state auditor) and Mike DeWine (as attorney general) confirmed that Ohio abortion providers follow state and federal laws when handling biological material. Anti-abortion legislators have used a strategy to lodge unfounded accusations of wrongdoing as an excuse to enact a law for the express purpose of making it harder for abortion clinics to remain open in Ohio.

Copeland continued: “The State of Ohio has enough on its hands with the current pandemic. Anti-choice politicians should not be trying to pass a bill which will waste even more taxpayer money and restrict health care providers while people are literally dying, starving, trying to support their families, and facing evictions due to the pandemic and the failing economy. Ohioans are hurting and they need help, not another unconstitutional witch hunt designed to close abortion clinics and shame their patients.”

Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas have all passed similar restrictions. Indiana is the only state that has been allowed to enforce the law, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Box v. Planned Parenthood in 2019. The Indiana case was unique in that they did not challenge the law under the undue burden standard, and therefore the SCOTUS decision in this case cannot really be broadened out to be interpreting how SCOTUS would decide these cases under the undue burden standard.

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