Ohio Attorney General Accuses Planned Parenthood of Illegally Dumping Fetal Remains

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has accused local Planned Parenthood affiliates of improperly disposing of fetal tissue.Keith Srakocic/AP

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Ohio officials on Friday accused Planned Parenthood affiliates in the state of disposing of fetal tissue in violation of state law, saying that the health care organization sent the remains to companies that dumped the tissue in landfills.

The accusation was the result of the Ohio attorney general’s investigation into Planned Parenthood over the organization’s donation of fetal tissue from abortions. Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement on Friday that his office concluded its investigation of Planned Parenthood and found that the organization had not illegally sold fetal tissue.

But DeWine said his office did find that Planned Parenthood had violated an Ohio regulation requiring that a “fetus shall be disposed of in a humane manner.” According to the attorney general’s investigation, the health care organization sends fetal remains to disposal companies, which then dump the tissue in landfills.

Stephanie Kight, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, has denied all wrongdoing and says her organization handles fetal tissue legally and in the same manner as other health care providers. Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio is one of the state affiliates mentioned by DeWine.

“We take our responsibility as a health care provider seriously, and if we ever thought that one of our vendors wasn’t handling fetal tissue properly, we would take swift action,” Kight told reporters on Friday.

DeWine’s new accusations are the result of his failed investigation into the sale of fetal tissue, she added. “He has dug up another set of accusations that are equally false.”

Ohio is one of a handful of states that launched investigations into Planned Parenthood following the series of widely debunked sting videos purporting to show the organization’s staff discussing fetal tissue donation. None of the investigations have found evidence that Planned Parenthood illegally sold fetal tissue.

This post has been updated.

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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