Tucked against a fence in an East Los Angeles cemetery, a long, flat headstone reads: “In memory of the 16,500 precious unborn, buried here, Oct. 6, 1985.”
The aborted fetuses had been found in a metal storage container repossessed from the Woodland Hills home of a former medical laboratory owner who had kept them after testing.
Abortion defenders argued that they should be incinerated as medical waste. But abortion foes wanted to give them a funeral.
In the end, the remains were buried in six wooden boxes.
The debate back then was a preview of a new front in the battle over abortion today. Over the last two years, at least five states have introduced requirements that healthcare facilities bury or cremate the remains from abortions, and in some cases also from miscarriages and stillbirths.
The rules in Arkansas and North Carolina have already taken effect. Texas, Louisiana and Indiana are embroiled in lawsuits challenging their regulations, with a decision in the Texas case expected as soon as this week.