Ohio's top prosecutor says a state probe has concluded three Planned Parenthood clinics allegedly improperly disposed of aborted fetal parts in landfills, "mixing" the remains "with yesterday's garbage."
Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine announced
Friday his four-month investigation found disposal methods violated a state administration code adopted in 1975 that mandates a "fetus shall be disposed of in a humane manner."
"Cooking and disposing of fetuses is not humane," he said at a news conference announcing the findings, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
"It will come as a shock to Ohioans that fetal remains are being mixed in with yesterday’s garbage.”
In a statement, the prosecutor said his investigation didn't find any evidence the clinics improperly sold fetal tissue – an issue that sparked the probe after a series of disturbing undercover tapes
were released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress that depicted the brokering of aborted fetal tissue.
He said he referred his findings to the Ohio Department of Health, which has oversight of abortion clinics.
According to the Dispatch, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Columbus and Cincinnati contracted with Accu-Medical Waste Co., while a Bedford Heights clinic near Cleveland sent fetal remains to Stericyle Inc.
Accu-Medical Waste told state investigators fetal remains and other biological waste are placed in auto-clave devices, which use high temperature and pressure to kill germs and infectious matter. The material is then taken to an unspecified landfill in Kentucky, the Dispatch reports.
Stephanie Kight, executive director and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, denied there was any improper disposal and charged the probe was politically motivated, creating "an incredibly hostile atmosphere for women in the state of Ohio," the Dispatch reports.
"This is about banning safe, legal abortions. Period," she said, the Dispatch reports.
According to Kight, the clinics "comply with all the laws that require safe fetal disposal," and in answer to whether there was disposal in a landfill, replied: "I would suggest you ask the companies doing that. ... They’re following the contract as far as we know."
Republican Gov. John Kasich, who's a presidential primary candidate, called the attorney general's findings "disturbing."
"I’ve tasked the Ohio Department of Health to work with the attorney general to take appropriate legal action," he said, the Dispatch reports. "This investigation shows the need for further work with the Ohio General Assembly to rein in Planned Parenthood, while continuing to ensure access to vital health care services for women."
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