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

Jan 29, 2020

Credit 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 bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.