Fetal remains from abortions must be buried or cremated, bill says

The Ohio House voted 60-35 on Thursday to require tissue from abortions be given burials or cremations — legislation Ohio Right to Life said honors human dignity while abortion rights groups called it an unnecessary hurdle for women who choose to terminate pregnancies.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said in a written statement: “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.”

Senate Bill 27 is supported by Ohio Right to Life, which testified in favor of it and described it as a means of reflecting “a culture that honors the dignity of the human person.”

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Republican state Reps. Niraj Antani, John Becker, Tom Brinkman, Jim Butler, Sara Carruthers, Bill Dean, Candice Keller, Kyle Koehler, George Lang, Scott Lipps, Susan Manchester, Rick Perales, Phil Plummer, Jena Powell, Nino Vitale and Paul Zeltwanger voted in favor of the bill. Democrat Fred Strahorn voted against it.

The bill cleared the Ohio Senate in March 2019.

Lawmakers returned to Columbus this week to pass bills before the two-year legislative session ends this month. Any bills that haven’t cleared the House and Senate by then will die and have to be re-introduced in the new session, which starts in January.

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Legislators are expected to take action in the next few weeks on issues such as prohibiting execution of defendants who suffered from serious mental illness at the time of the crime; adopting a capital spending bill for big ticket expenses and community projects; and repealing or delaying House Bill 6, an energy law at the center of an alleged $60-million bribery scheme.

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