Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fetal Remains Disposal Rules Bill Is Only Abortion Measure Advancing In 2020

Brandon Smith
IPB News

A Senate committee easily approved legislation Wednesday that requires medical facilities to develop policies for burying and cremating fetal remains.

The bill – which follows up on a 2016 anti-abortion law – is the only abortion-related measure advancing this session.

Indiana law – upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court – says medical facilities must bury or cremate fetal remains. This year’s bill clarifies the policies those clinics and hospitals must develop to do so.

There was a lot of debate in committee over whether the bill forces women to do anything. Bill author Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne) stresses it doesn’t. Rather, she says, it gives women options, particularly those who induce their abortion at home with medication.

“Going back to the clinic and saying, ‘I don’t know how to do this, but you have a legal responsibility to do this,’” Brown says.

Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) is skeptical that will happen.

“To think that a woman is going to collect that and take that back in – I just don’t know how reasonable that is to assume,” Breaux says.

The bill now heads to the Senate floor.

Contact Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.