An Ohio judge has granted a temporary injunction, delaying a law that would require the burial or cremation of aborted children. The law was set to go into effect on Tuesday, one day after Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Alison Hatheway ruled that a lack of rules pertaining to the law made its compliance “impossible.”
Senate Bill 27, which made it mandatory for the remains of aborted children to be either buried or cremated, was signed by Governor Mike DeWine in December 2020. Soon after it was ratified, a cohort of abortion facilities and the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the new law, calling it “frivolous and medically unnecessary” while claiming that it was an unconstitutional hindrance to abortion. The abortion facilities also said they could not comply with the law because of a lack of rules, such as whether or not a death certificate was required.
“Without the required rules and forms in place, the plaintiffs will be forced to stop providing procedural abortions because of a real threat of sanctions and penalties independent from criminal prosecution,” the judge said. “This substantially interferes with, if not denies, the plaintiffs’ patients’ rights to access abortion under the Ohio Constitution.”
In defense of the state’s new law, attorneys for the Ohio Department of Health countered that the law in no way inhibits abortions. “The only way that it has the effect of a ban on April 6 is under the plaintiffs’ erroneous factual and legal assumption that they will have to preemptively stop all abortions because of a lack of affirmative assurances (against prosecution),” said attorney Andrew McCartney. McCartney also said that it was possible for abortion facilities to comply with the law on the basis of an “emergency rule exception.”
Currently, the bodies of aborted children in Ohio are disposed of as medical waste. The implementation of this law would ensure that these bodies are treated in a humane manner, with a proper burial or cremation. Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, released a statement upon hearing of the law’s challenge in the courts.
“The calloused actions of the abortion industry truly know no bounds. Requiring the broken bodies of abortion victims to be humanely buried is simply common decency,” he said. “The abortion industry’s desire to deny the innocent unborn even the right to a proper burial reveals where their allegiances lie: not with basic decency, but with their bottom line.”
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