Power Plant Ordered to Stop Burning Fetal Tissue

Medical waste issue horrifies Oregon commissioners

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 25, 2014 2:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two horrified anti-abortion county commissioners in Oregon have ordered a waste-to-energy plant to stop burning any medical waste until it can be sure that no fetal tissue is being incinerated. The Marion County plant burns large amounts of biomedical waste from British Columbia, and the commissioners say they were disgusted to learn from a report in a Catholic newspaper that some of the 14,000 fetuses aborted in the Canadian province every year are "incinerated to provide electricity to the people of Marion County," the National Post reports.

The commissioners say there has to be "a process to figure out how we can accept legitimate medical waste," including amputated limbs and cancerous tissue, but accepting fetal tissue is out of the question, reports the Oregonian. "It's inappropriate to put them in the trash," one commissioner says. A spokeswoman for the incinerator firm says that while the medical waste may have contained fetal tissue including umbilical cords or placentas, it did not contain whole fetuses. She says the company is cooperating with the order to stop accepting medical waste while new procedures are put in place, the AP reports. Last month, the UK banned the incineration of fetal remains after learning that thousands of fetuses had been burned for power.

The Oregon plant burns around 550 tons of waste per day.
The Oregon plant burns around 550 tons of waste per day.   (Covanta Marion)
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