State-Mandated Mourning for Aborted Fetuses


Interesting article.

Here’s what will happen after a woman gets an abortion in the state of Indiana, starting this July. She will be told, verbally and in writing, that she has the right to choose what she does with her aborted fetus. She will be given a list of her options for disposal, and offered counseling. The fetus does not have to be named, but it will receive its own burial-transit form, just like any dead body. This form will travel with it to a funeral home, where it will be buried or cremated. There won’t necessarily be a ceremony; the fetus may not get its own headstone or urn. But it will be laid to rest in the way of a human. Aborted fetuses in Indiana, nearly all smaller than a peapod, will no longer be treated as medical waste.

This is what the state’s legislature decided back in March. It passed a wide-ranging bill, making it a criminal offense to dispose of fetal remains in any other way besides burial or cremation, including in cases of abortions, miscarriages, and stillbirths.

Which raises a question: Why would a state create a mourning ritual for no one?

Read more:


I think we should be wary of criminalising anything to do with miscarriages. Whatever we think of abortion to put a woman under tremendous physical and emotional stress at risk of committing a crime purely by accident I think is utterly horrendous.

(And what happens if there is a miscarriage in the very early weeks, when it might not even be known she is pregnant yet?).

Abortion is one thing. But it is an egregious use of legislation do tack miscarriages onto it. I’m appalled.


I agree with you completely. But how could you separate them out, realistically? And if some states are going to go this far, legally, we must look at the countries where both miscarriages and abortions are illegal and women are being imprisoned.


I don’t even get how miscarriages can be made illegal. You might as well try to outlaw headcolds. Sometimes, God just has other plans for that life. To put an already frightened woman in fear of the law is utterly inhumane.

El Salvador is one country that comes to mind where miscarriages are illegal.

And depending on how the law is read, I understand Utah has also managed to criminalise having a miscarriage, although for the sake of charity I will assume it’s because the Utah state legislature is merely populated by inept people who can’t write decent laws, and not that they are actually barbaric as well as idiotic.

On a separate note, however, I’m not against treating the victim of an abortion with the same dignity accorded any other human being. Or while I think it could be sometimes impractical, I agree at least with the sentiment.


I’m glad they are giving the babies some kind of burial. That seems a big step forward which will cut way down on selling body parts. And it might make the women see what they are really doing. Not about the miscarriages. Though I was wondering what the official difference is between miscarriage that is pill induced and abortion???


It makes me wonder what happens to miscarried babies in the hospital. I had a miscarriage in the ER, never even knew I was pregnant (I was breastfeeding and my cycle was all over the place), and I often wonder what happened to that baby?

Maybe those little ones were/are being sold or used without permission.


That was my thought. I heard a statistic today (sorry don’t have the source) that 20% of college age females purchase the morning after pill. While mechanical abortions are decreasing, chemical are increasing.

Though I want to see an end to abortion, at first glance this seems a little like penalizing the wounded.


I am glad that the state of Indiana is treating the unborn like people.


Most miscarriages happen quite early on and if they happen at home, women use the toilet or if not, the blood is cleaned up from the soiled fabric or floor. In hospitals it is the same thing. It’s treated as fluid waste. If the pregnancy is much further along, I would imagine it is disposed of by fire or is buried. There are companies that handle that.

No one is selling human waste or body parts without permission.


Don’t most abortions happen early on as well?

How do you know that nobody is selling tissue from miscarried babies?

*“Human embryonic and fetal tissues are available from the Central Laboratory for Human Embryology at the University of Washington. The laboratory, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health, can supply tissue from normal of [sic] abnormal embryos and fetuses of desired gestational ages between 40 days and term.

Specimens are obtained within minutes of passage and tissues are aseptically identified, staged and immediately processed according to the requirements of individual investigators.

Presently, processing methods include immediate fixation, snap fixation, snap freezing in liquid nitrogen, and placement in balanced salt solutions or media designated and/or supplied by investigators. Specimens are shipped by overnight express, arriving the day following procurement. The laboratory can also supply serial sections of human embryos that have been preserved in methyl Carnoy’s fixative, embedded in paraffin and sectioned at 5 microns. Inquiries are directed to Alan G. Fantel, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics RD-20, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.”*


There are three usual ways to end a pregnancy early. One is where the woman’s body automatically causes a spontaneous abortion. Many times a woman doesn’t even know she’s pregnant and thinks she is having her period.

If the woman wants to do something to create a spontaneous abortion, there are ways to do it that have been done over the millennia, like herbs, pressure to the abdomen, physical exertion, etc. And now there are pharmacological ways. A doctor can prescribe pills and you can take them at home. I think this is the way many women choose, especially early on in the pregnancy.

A clinical or medical abortion is obviously done by a physician in a clinic and the way that many people assumes happen. The procedure depends on how many weeks pregnant the woman is.

Obviously there are many other things that happen, but these three categories are the most common.


Because in the US it is illegal without permission. I assume that most hospitals or clinics very carefully stay this side of the law. And just FYI, no one ‘sell’s’ human tissue or body parts or organs. Just as no one buys them. That, also, is illegal. They are donated. Just like you would donate an organ after your death. Expenses occur in handling or transporting.


I assume that as well. I don’t know for sure but I sure hope so.


Here’s one of many stories that show it is not so cut and dry:


Not good. It reminds me of histories one reads about grave robbers who would sell bodies to medical schools, because of course it was illegal to use bodies for study and learning.

Anyway, once it gets into the for profit business, all charitable or honorable intentions tend to go out the window. I don’t know the answer. Stricter guidelines? I do quite a bit of bioethics, but this area is very much in the grey zone.


Yes, it’s been around for a long time.

I don’t know the answer either. I guess it means we all have to ask more questions and pay attention to the details when dealing with organ donation and even tissue donation (there were stories about that as well).




Miscarriages are a grey area, but I think that if the law is applied sensibly, no one will get hurt. However, what of those parents who would like to mourn a miscarriage in another way, rather than a secular state funeral? :frowning:

If this law is a step to personhood for the unborn, :thumbsup:. If it’s just a cosmetic measure to appease the pro-life movement, :rolleyes: Time will tell.


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