COLUMBUS, Ohio (Christian Examiner)—The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that a federal judge has temporarily prevented Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine from interfering with Planned Parenthood's allegedly illegal disposal procedures of fetal remains in the state.
U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. granted the 28-day restraining order against the state last week. The judge claimed that the state's code requiring the disposal of fetal remains be disposed of in a "humane" manner was too "vague."
The judicial decision comes after Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Ohio in order to slow down an expected attempt by the state to stop the abortion provider's current disposal procedures.
The flurry of activity comes after DeWine announced earlier this month the findings of a four-month investigation into the abortion provider's disposal procedures. The USA Today reports the investigation discovered two of the state's three Planned Parenthood facilities "contracted with a company that heats the tissue to kill bacteria and disposes of the remains in a Kentucky landfill."
"Disposing of aborted fetuses from an abortion by sending them to a landfill is callous and completely inhumane," DeWine said in a news release. "It is important the public be aware that these practices are taking place at these Ohio facilities."
Planned Parenthood denies the charges, saying it uses "licensed medical removal companies to handle the fetal tissue respectfully," according to a report by UPI.
The Columbus Dispatch is also reporting that Planned Parenthood expected an imminent injunction that may close down the state's Planned Parenthood offices. A Dewine spokesman says the attorney general's office only planned on seeking an injunction to prevent the abortion provider from disposing of fetuses in landfills "as they have been."
Gov. John Kasich, also a Republican presidential candidate, has urged rapid action to "enforce state regulations."
According to the Dispatch, Ohio Republican state lawmakers also announced on Tuesday afternoon new proposed legislation that would require the state's hospitals, abortion clinics and other providers to dispose of fetal remains by burial or cremation.
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A separate state legislative proposal, which had been in process before DeWine released his report, would require women who get abortions to declare in writing whether their fetuses' remains should be buried or cremated.
"We can no longer sit on the wall about what is going on inside their (Planned Parenthood) clinics," said Rep. Kyle Koehler from Springfield, Ohio, according to the Dispatch.
The Ohio House Speaker, Cliff Rosenberger, said the bills will be "a priority in the House" in January.
DeWine's investigation of Planned Parenthood's disposal practices came after videos surfaced last summer showing Planned Parenthood negotiating sells of fetal body parts. According to the Associated Press, at least 10 other states initiated similar investigations into how Planned Parenthood deals with fetuses.