The remains of a miscarried or aborted baby of about 20 weeks gestation surfaced at a wastewater treatment plan on Monday in Augusta, Georgia.
According to The Verge, workers at the city wastewater plant found the baby’s body lodged in a piece of equipment.
Augusta coroner Mark Bowen examined the body and estimated the baby to be about 20 weeks gestation, the report states. Georgia prohibits abortions after 20 weeks; it is not clear if the baby was aborted or miscarried.
“It’s right on that line where it could or could not be,” Bowen told the local news. “Did that baby take a breath and drown in the water? We don’t know.”
Bowen said he sent the body for a fully autopsy and DNA testing at the state Bureau of Investigation in hopes of being able to find the baby’s mother.
Here’s more from the report:
Despite the legal implications, Bowen insists he isn’t thinking of the search in criminal terms. “My intention is to put the mother and fetus together, and make sure the mother’s okay,” he told The Verge. “I just want to make sure she isn’t getting an infection or bleeding out, and then I would like to connect them back together so she can have her miscarried child or aborted child properly disposed of.” (A separate Georgia law places restrictions on the proper disposal of fetal remains, although the legal burden falls on clinics rather than patients.)
The report speculated that the baby probably was not aborted because it was not disposed of through proper medical requirements.
But abortion clinics do not always follow proper medical protocol for the disposal of aborted babies’ bodies. In 2015, South Carolina fined three abortion facilities for improperly disposing aborted babies’ bodies.
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There currently is at least one abortion facility in Augusta.
In 2015, LifeNews reported about how Georgia abortion facilities are not regularly inspected. State documents obtained by a local news station found that when they were inspected, health inspectors found serious violations, including failures to sterilize equipment, improper storage of clean materials with dirty ones, and the use of duct tape to hold medical equipment together.
LifeNews Note: File photo.