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Judge Temporarily Blocks State From Prosecuting Over Fetal Remains Disposal

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A federal district judge has temporarily blocked state officials from taking legal action against Planned Parenthood to enforce a rule governing the disposal of fetal tissue.   

The order comes in a dispute over how Planned Parenthood handles fetal tissue.  Planned Parenthood is suing Ohio's health director. The group claims the state's health department changed the interpretation of the disposal rule without notice and then unfairly targeted its three affiliates that provide abortions.  The order is effective until January 11. A hearing is scheduled for January 4.  The lawsuit follows the state attorney general's investigation into Planned Parenthood, which criticized the facilities for disposing of fetal remains in landfills.  Planned Parenthood calls the report "inflammatory" and says it follows Ohio law.  Several Republican lawmakers have announced plans to introduce a pair of bills requiring disposal of fetal remains by either burial or cremation, and requiring women who undergo abortions to make that decision.

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