COLUMBUS, Ohio — Aborted babies from three Planned Parenthood locations in Ohio were either “steam-cooked” or incinerated and then sent to landfills, the pro-life state attorney general announced on Friday.
“Disposing of aborted fetuses from an abortion by sending them to a landfill is callous and completely inhumane,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement. “It is important the public be aware that these practices are taking place at these Ohio facilities.”
DeWine’s office had been investigating whether Planned Parenthood facilities in the state were selling the body parts of aborted babies following the release of national undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress.
While determining that aborted babies in Ohio weren’t being sold to research, DeWine’s Charitable Law Section rather found that the children were being picked up by medical waste companies and either steam treated or incinerated and then dumped into a landfill with household and commercial trash.
“I think it will come as a shock to Ohioans to find out that fetuses are being cooked and then they’re being put in a landfill and they’re going to be mixed in with yesterday’s garbage,” DeWine told reporters on Friday.
He said that the practice is illegal as it violates Chapter 3701-47-05 of the Ohio abortion law, which states that a “fetus shall be disposed of in a humane manner.”
Accu Medical Waste Service, Inc. in Marietta had been serving the Cincinnati and Columbus Planned Parenthood locations, and had transported the containers of aborted babies to its steam plant where they were autoclaved and then trucked to a landfill in Kentucky.
The medical waste giant Stericycle, which serves the Bedford Heights Planned Parenthood, had been picking up aborted babies from the location and either having them steamed or incinerated, depending on how Planned Parenthood had marked the boxes. The fetal remains were then trucked to Republic Services Carbon Limestone Landfill in Lowellville after being treated.
Corporate representatives of Stericycle had claimed to DeWine’s office during the investigation that the company does not accept fetal remains for disposal. Stericycle currently operates an incineration plant in Warren, where “pathological waste” is burned. According to the Campaign to Stop Stericycle, the company had been fined in 2011 for illegally dumping aborted babies in a landfill in Austin, Texas, and had also been found to be disposing of the babies murdered at Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia “House of Horrors.”
While DeWine didn’t wish to outline which method of disposal would be acceptable since he is completely opposed to abortion, he did cite to reporters that burial or cremation were more humane methods. He said that his office plans to file for an injunction in court to require that Planned Parenthood cease disposing of aborted babies in autoclaves, incineration plants and landfills.
“I believe that abortion is morally reprehensible. We have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable members of our society — born and unborn — and to protect and respect the sanctity of all human life,” DeWine said in 2010 while running for office.
Planned Parenthood is defending its actions, as it asserts that the aborted babies are sent to “respectful facilities.”
“I think they’re being properly disposed of,” Stephanie Kight, president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, told reporters. “That’s what my contract [with the removal companies] says. That’s what they’ve assured us of.”
She called DeWine’s investigation part of a “political agenda” to end abortion.
“Let’s be clear. This is about one thing: banning access to safe, legal abortion,” Kight said.
Accu Medical President Jim Parks says that the company has since stopped serving abortion facilities due to media attention over the matter. Stericycle is refusing to speak to reporters.
Republic Services President Don Slager could not be reached. Heath Eddlebute, the company’s vice president of operations, did not return a call for comment.