Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Activists are seen holding placards during the protest. Abortion rights activists took part in stop the bans rally nationwide after multiple states pass fetal heartbeat bills. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Reproductive rights advocates protest Ohio's "fetal heartbeat" anti-abortion law, one of the nation's most restrictive, in Dayton, Ohio on May 19, 2019. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/SOPA/Light Rocket via Getty Images)

Reproductive Rights Advocates Slam 'Unconstitutional and Medically Unnecessary' Fetal Remains Law Signed by Ohio Governor

The ACLU called Senate Bill 27 "just one more transparent attempt to obstruct Ohioans from exercising their constitutionally protected reproductive rights."

Brett Wilkins

Reproductive rights and civil liberties groups condemned as "unconstitutional and medically unnecessary" a bill signed into law Wednesday by Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains resulting from abortion. 

"The only purpose of Senate Bill 27 is to further stigmatize/shame abortion and attack abortion providers across the state. During a global pandemic, the *only* priority for Ohio Republicans is restricting access to safe, legal abortion."
—Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio  

Senate Bill 27, an update of a 1975 law, requires the "humane disposition of the product of human conception"—specifically, any "zygote, blastocyte, embryo, or fetus," either by "burial or entombment" or cremation "in a crematory facility." 

Under the law, anyone having an abortion in Ohio will be notified beforehand that they can choose the method and location of fetal disposition. If they do not choose, it is up to the abortion provider to decide and pay for the burial or cremation. Healthcare providers who do not comply face potential first-degree misdemeanor charges that carry a $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison.

As state attorney general, DeWine conducted an investigation into unfounded allegations that Planned Parenthood of Ohio profited from the sale of aborted fetuses. However, the probe found that fetal remains had been disposed of in landfills, sparking outrage from anti-abortion advocates and prompting the new law. 

As governor, DeWine has been a consistent foe of reproductive rights. Last year, he signed a so-called "fetal heartbeat" bill, one of the nation's most restrictive anti-choice laws, that was subsequently challenged in court by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio and the ACLU. Last July, a judge temporarily blocked the law pending further litigation.

Both Planned Parenthood and the ACLU blasted the updated fetal remains law. 

"The only purpose of Senate Bill 27 is to further stigmatize/shame abortion and attack abortion providers across the state," tweeted Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio. "During a global pandemic, the *only* priority for Ohio Republicans is restricting access to safe, legal abortion."

In a statement against the measure earlier this month Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, vice president of government affairs and public advocacy at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, said that "in the middle of a pandemic, Republican lawmakers are working yet again to strip Ohioans of their health care and trying to close health centers."

"Not only is Senate Bill 27 unconstitutional and medically unnecessary, it also adds yet another barrier for patients who are trying to access abortion services—which is the legislature's real goal," added Blauvelt-Copelin. "This bill is about politics. It's about forcing health centers to close. Ohioans deserve better."

Planned Parenthood also noted that "Senate Bill 260—which bans the use of telemedicine or medication abortions—is currently sitting on DeWine's desk."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

New Filing Reveals Sinema Pads Campaign Coffers With More Pharma and Finance Funds

"This is what someone who's bought and paid for looks like."

Brett Wilkins ·


'We're Not Stopping': Weeklong D.C. Climate Protests End With 650+ Arrests, Vows to Fight On

"There is no other planet to escape to. Water is life... They need to listen to the youth. They need to hear us speak our cries."

Brett Wilkins ·



Ousted by AOC, Joe Crowley Now Lobbying Against Tax Hikes on Corporate Giants

The former chair of the House Democratic Caucus once called the GOP's 2017 tax law a "scam," but now he's collaborating with Wall Street to undermine attempts at progressive reform.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Corporate Fraud at Its Worst': J&J Hides Behind Bankruptcy Amid Baby Powder Lawsuits

"Here we go again," said Elizabeth Warren. "Another giant corporation is abusing our bankruptcy system."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo