Health

Burial Laws Proposed For Aborted Fetuses

| by Michael Allen
Red (Republican) statesRed (Republican) states

Some Republican-controlled states are proposing and passing "fetal burial" laws that require specific burial guidelines for fetal tissue from abortions.

ThinkProgress notes that the author of pending bills in Idaho, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina is a pro-life group called Americans United For Life (AUL), which states on its website: "AUL attorneys are highly-regarded experts on pro-life legal language and the Constitution, consulting on bills and amendments across the country. In addition, our model legislation enables legislators to easily introduce bills without needing to research and write the bills themselves, helping ensure that their efforts will have the desired impact and withstand judicial scrutiny."

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The AUL's proposed "Unborn Infants Dignity Act" is written for "every instance of fetal death, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy," notes ThinkProgress.

The news site adds that Ohio and Indiana passed anti-abortion bills in March that included a fetal burial section.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who investigated Planned Parenthood in his state and found no wrongdoing, got the ball rolling on fetal burial during a press conference Dec.11, 2015, notes WBNS.

DeWine accused Planned Parenthood in Ohio of cooking fetuses and disposing them in a Kentucky landfill.

The process that DeWine called "inhumane" is autoclaving, which breaks down fetal remains using extreme steam heat instead of incineration by fire.

Lanny Brannock, Executive Staff Advisor for the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, countered DeWine: "It is illegal to landfill any human tissue in Kentucky, and by law it’s required to be incinerated. We have no knowledge of any human tissue going into Kentucky landfills."

Ironically, the state of Ohio used the same waste company, Accu Medical, that Planned Parenthood used, to dispose of fetal remains of miscarriages from state prisons and medical facilities.

DeWine said he was not aware of what the state did and told WBNS in February, "I find it to be disturbing and I find it to be not humane. I don't think it matters who does it. What matters is this is being done. So I was not aware of that at all. You know when we began our investigation, it was very narrow question."

Kellie Copeland, director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, told ThinkProgress that the fetal burial bills' real purpose is "to keep the anti-abortion narrative going at state capitols, and talk about how abortion providers are not doing the right things in some people's eyes. And let's be clear. Burial and cremation laws are only intended to shame women for their decision."

Sources: Americans United For Life, ThinkProgress, WBNS / Photo credit: Angr/Wikimedia