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Planned Parenthoods file lawsuit over AG's claim

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Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-13 18:30:17-05

CINCINNATI – Ohio Planned Parenthood affiliates said they filed a federal lawsuit Sunday “to protect access to safe, legal abortion for women in Ohio.”

The lawsuit came after an announcement from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Friday that fetal remains from the three Planned Parenthoods in Ohio, including Cincinnati, had been sent to landfills by the companies Planned Parenthood hired to dispose of the remains. DeWine said that was a violation of state law requiring “a fetus shall be disposed of in a humane manner.”

DeWine made the accusation simultaneously with the announcement that the investigation into whether any Ohio Planned Parenthoods sold fetal remains had ended because there was no evidence they had done so.

Stephanie Knight, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Ohio, called DeWine’s allegation “inflammatory and false.” In their lawsuit, Planned Parenthood asserted that DeWine’s claims were motivated by politics and were made in an attempt to ban abortion in Ohio.

Also, they said in the suit they used licensed medical removal companies who handle the remains “respectfully and safely, in accordance with the law that’s been in place for 40 years in Ohio.”

Like medical material from other health care providers, medical material from Planned Parenthood is either treated for sterilization or incinerated, Jerry Lawson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio said.

“It’s clear from the attorney general’s press conference that we’ve acted properly and legally, and this is just part of his longstanding political agenda to ban abortion in all cases,” Lawson said. “We won’t let that happen.”