When he’s not frittering away staff hours and state resources filing amicus briefs opposing medical rights for women (Hobby Lobby) or equal rights for gay people (Obergefell), he’s apparently busying himself launching arbitrary investigations into Planned Parenthood.
From the Columbus Dispatch:
Disposal methods by Planned Parenthood affiliates violate Ohio Administrative Code 3701-47-05 which requires that a “fetus shall be disposed of in a humane manner,” DeWine’s office said. The finding violation of state code, not state law.
“Disposing of aborted fetuses from an abortion by sending them to a landfill is callous and completely inhumane,” DeWine said in a statement. “It is important the public be aware that these practices are taking place at these Ohio facilities.”
‘Hits me right in my feel-goods, Mike. ‘Makes my feel-goods feel bads. Except one problem: It’s a bunch of bullshit.
Stephanie Kight, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Ohio, labeled DeWine’s findings about fetal disposal “flat-out false.”
“This is not true. Planned Parenthood contracts with vendors to handle fetal tissue in a respectful manner and in accordance with the law. It is irresponsible for the attorney general to say otherwise,” Kight said in a statement. If vendors are violating the agreement, “then I will take swift action,” she added.
“We are seriously concerned that this report is not the result of meaningful investigation, but instead yet another attack on women’s access to health care in the state of Ohio intended to end our ability to continue to provide safe, legal abortion.”
Of course, DeWine launched this charade of an investigation in response to the ginned up Planned Parenthood controversy this summer, where some blatant right wing ratfuckery attempted to convince Americans the organization was “selling baby parts,” as opposed to donating fetal tissue for medical research. And it’s not like that research ever led to anything useful, such as ubella, varicella and polio vaccines.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland pointed out that the findings of DeWine’s “investigation” were coordinated with a statement from Ohio Right to Life and a push in that organization’s efforts with state Reps. Robert McColley of Napoleon and Kyle Koehler of Springfield, and state Sen. Joe Uecker of Miami Township, to force women to fill out paperwork designating whether their “aborted baby” shall be “buried or cremated.”
“Ohio Right to Life is clearly collaborating with the Ohio attorney general’s office to politicize how medical providers operate. The coordinated statements today from Ohio Right to Life and the Ohio attorney general make it clear that there is no division between an extremist political organization and the state’s top law enforcement agency. This is very troubling.”
Troubling, indeed. But not so much so that U.S. Sen. Rob Portman didn’t want some of this action.
“Disposing aborted fetuses into landfills is inhumane and reprehensible and should be stopped,” he said.
At least one Democratic lawmaker has stepped up so far to throw stones at the shrieking flock of flying monkeys.
“This harassment of Planned Parenthood and its patients is inexcusable. The attempt to paint the women’s healthcare provider as a lawbreaker is sad and deeply troubling,” said state Rep. Kathleen Clyde, D-Kent.
Probably the most absurd aspect of these attacks on Planned Parenthood is conservatives puffing their chests out in haughty superiority while asserting odious falsehoods and inhumane solutions to problems that only exist in their fevered imaginations.
Perhaps no organization is actively preventing as many abortions as Planned Parenthood is. Each year, Planned Parenthood averts roughly 500,000 unintended pregnancies through contraceptive education, and averts over 200,000 abortions through contraceptive services.
Want to see those numbers go up? Want to prevent more abortions from taking place? Provide Planned Parenthood with more money and more resources, not less.
Planned Parenthood’s mission is to provide men and women, many of whom are low-income, with critical medical resources and consultation unavailable otherwise.
Mike DeWine, Ohio Right to Life, Rob Portman, state Reps. McColley and Koehler, and state Sen. Uecker are not offering solutions. They are riding the ugly politics of shame and victimization to score cheap political points with the more mindless of their constituents.
D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.