A state representative is calling for abortion reform in Michigan following the alleged discovery of 17 aborted fetuses in a Lansing abortion clinic’s dumpster. A spokesman from the local police department, however, said investigators discovered biomedical waste and patient medical records in the dumpster, but no fetuses were found.
During a press conference held Wednesday at the Capitol to address the issue, state Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, announced a bill that would require clinics to bury or cremate aborted fetuses if the parent requests it. Violators of the bill would face felony charges and a maximum of three years in jail, or a fine of up to $5,000.
Jones, who represents the district where the fetuses were allegedly found, was contacted by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and Chris Veneklase, a Michigan resident who said he found the fetuses. Veneklase was protesting outside WomansChoice/Health Care Clinic, 6500 Centurion Dr., in Lansing, when he noticed its use of a commercial dumpster. In February, he looked inside one of the garbage bags.
Citizens for a Pro-Life Society helped Veneklase continue to search through the dumpster and allegedly discovered more biomedical waste and medical records. Veneklase and the organization then reported the incident. The WomansChoice/Health Care Clinic declined to comment Wednesday.
The clinic’s Lansing and Saginaw offices were investigated by the Michigan Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department, the Eaton County Prosecutor and Eaton County Sheriff’s Department, said Joy Yearout, deputy director of communications at the Michigan Office of the Attorney General.
Yearout said the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan Office of the Attorney General decided not to press charges against the clinic.
“The evidence we found in the investigation does not allow us to press any criminal charges,” Yearout said.
Documents found in the dumpster during police investigations included sales records that listed patients’ names and addresses, Undersheriff Fred McPhail of the Eaton Township Sheriff’s Department said.
Yearout said Citizens for a Pro-Life Society showed police the materials found in the dumpster, but those materials could not be used in court. The only evidence used in court was collected during the police investigation.
During the press conference, Citizens for a Pro-Life Society Director Monica Migliorino Miller showed pictures of fetuses and biomedical waste she said the organization found.
“When you look at these torn, crushed bodies of unborn children, the human eye is looking at something it’s not meant to see,” Miller said.
State Reps. Joe Haveman, R-Holland, and Bob Genetski, R-Saugatuck, also are sponsoring legislation of the abortion reform bill.
“When I was first informed of this I was horrified,” Jones said. “It was sickening. I couldn’t believe it.”