Commissioners meet to disavow use of aborted babies to provide electricity


By Liberty Pike, Oregon RTL, Director of Communications

Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson speaks this morning

Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson speaks this morning

The government is famous for moving slowly and throwing up red tape as it moves along. That was not at all the case these past 24 hours.

Just yesterday news broke that British Columbia was sending “biomedical waste” to a plant in Brooks, Oregon, which is located in Marion County, where they would be burned to generate electricity for area residents.

When it was discovered that this “waste” included the remains of aborted and miscarried babies, a full-blown controversy instantly erupted.

The Marion County Commissioners heard about it for the first time yesterday, April 23, at 4 p.m. They immediately called Oregon Right to Life to express their horror and avow their lack of knowledge of the practice.

The commissioners sent out a press release announcing they had put an immediate halt to the burning of the medical “waste” and scheduled an emergency meeting for this morning at 9 a.m.

Commissioner Janet Carlson opened the meeting. Excusing the lack of advance notice about the meeting, she said, “We called an emergency meeting because this is an emergency. We need to deal with it now.”

Commissioner Sam Brentano, who is the chairman, said the Covanta Marion “waste-to-energy” plant was intended to efficiently destroy waste and, in the process, generate electricity. But the plant was “never intended to be a destruction of human fetal tissue,” he said.

The contract with Stericycle, the company bringing the waste from British Columbia, and other places in the Northwest, has been in place for the past 5-7 years. The “waste,” from sharps to amputated digits to aborted babies, is put into red bags at the facilities (abortion clinics, hospitals, etc) where it is “collected,” then sealed into boxes. The boxes are not opened again. They are brought to the plant and burned in a process that generates electricity.

Commissioner Carlson said, “I am horrified. There are not enough strong words to describe my feelings. This will not continue…I don’t even want to call it ‘material;’ these are babies.”

She also said she wants to pursue an in-depth investigation into “who knew, when they knew and how long they knew.”

The commissioners were in agreement that the acceptance of any “fetal tissue” must permanently cease. They have started their legal team drawing up new ordinances reflecting this and will either sever their contracts with Stericycle or give the company the opportunity to amend the contracts to disallow the inclusion of the remains of aborted and miscarried babies along with legitimate medical waste.

Commissioner Carlson reiterated her horror and her intent to immediately and permanently end import of these aborted and miscarried babies into Marion County. She said the practice was “disgusting and [showed] total disrespect of human life.”

Oregon Right to Life will be in attendance at the public hearing for the new ordinance reflecting these changes. To hear the latest on this issue, please continue to frequent National Right to Life News Today and also sign up for our email alerts to keep informed on scheduling of the hearing and plan to attend to support these brave pro-life commissioners.