The Tennessee House will determine Monday whether Tennessee abortion clinics must cremate or bury aborted fetal remains.
The sponsors on the bill are State Representative Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) and State Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma). Bowling was the first to introduce the bill.
The latest amendment was technical in nature, according to Rudd. The Department of Health reportedly requested the rearrangement for purposes of better implementation, and the District Attorney’s Association requested an additional section clarifying that abortion facilities must still comply with providing fetal remain evidence for law enforcement investigations.
During the House Government Operations Committee hearing, Rudd clarified that this bill only applies to elective surgical abortions – not miscarriages or emergency abortions.
“[The bill says] that the aborted baby has to be treated with dignity and either cremated or buried,” said Rudd.
Rudd clarified further that this bill wouldn’t allow the aborted bodies of unborn children to be donated to science. Additionally, the bill only requires abortion clinics to cremate or bury the unborn children.
“We are talking about a baby that has been discarded, that is not wanted, that is being surgically terminated,” said Rudd. “[T]here is a very, very big difference between [hospitals and abortion clinics]. Hospitals who are forced to do this because of the health of the mother, because she could die, or the baby has already died in the womb, has to be removed – they already have dignified policies in place that deal with this. When you talk about clinics that perform elective abortions, they have no policies in place[.]”
Rudd made the point that Tennessee currently has a litany of codes on the treatment of dead animals – but not unborn human beings killed by abortion. Currently, aborted children are tossed with the trash.
The way it’s handled now throughout the country and in facilities here, is that babies are aborted and they’re disposed of in one of three ways: they’re either thrown in the bag with medical waste and thrown out with the trash or incinerated, they’re ground up and flushed down the toilet or the drain, and we just want – you can’t do that legally with a dog, or a cat, a pet, a farm animal. There are rules in place that TVAC has and other agencies have for the proper disposal of animals. We want the same dignity applied to a child.
The House will vote on the bill on Monday. In the Senate, the bill awaits scheduling by the Senate Calendar Committee for final consideration.
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