A new Ohio law forcing women to choose between creating or burying aborted fetal remains is drawing both praise and criticism. The law is strictly meant to shame women who have abortions, said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Jessie Hill. Forcing women to participate in religious ceremonies regarding abortions could be construed as offensive to individuals who have their own personal convictions.
Even worse, abortion providers are the ones who must foot the bill. Right to Life Communications Director Allie Frazier says the law is the only way to give humanity to the process. “Unborn children should not simply be tossed in the trash heap after an abortion. They deserve dignity like anyone else.” The bill was signed into law by Ohio Governor (R) Mike DeWine. Under the law, women are required to meet with the doctor at least24 hours before the abortion to sign a consent form. Any abortion provider who fails to follow the law could face a misdemeanor charge, jail time of up to six months, and a fine of $1,000.
DeWine helped craft the law when he was the state’s attorney general. During his tenure, Planned Parenthood was under investigation for status violations. While no violations were found, it was revealed that clinics partnered with a company that disposed of aborted remains in a landfill. Ohio Planned Parenthood President Keisha Diebel says this law is putting even more pressure on women who already face major reproductive healthcare hurdles. She says the legislature should focus more time on promoting the rights of women rather than shaming people dealing with private medical decisions.
Even before the latest legislation, the state was already viewed as having among the toughest abortion laws on the books. The new law is very clear on the rules and regulations, said the governor’s spokesperson Dan Tierney. Opponents of the law say the law is just another attempt to take away a women’s right to control what goes on with their own bodies. Last year, the “heartbeat bill” which prohibits abortions if a heartbeat is detected, is under fire. Democrats are currently attempting to block the bill. If the “heartbeat bill” passes, doctors can also face serious jail time if found in violation of this law. The only exception with this bill is if the woman’s life is in jeopardy. The law does not make concessions for incest and rape victims. Pro-choice groups in Ohio complain that these laws completely take away a woman’s reproductive rights.