A new string of legislation regulating the handling of aborted babies’ body parts has abortion activists in an uproar.
At least 28 states introduced legislation to regulate the handling of aborted babies’ body parts in the past year after the Center for Medical Progress exposed Planned Parenthood’s baby parts operation. Some states have moved to ban the sale or donation of aborted baby parts, while others put forward legislation to require that their tiny bodies be cremated or buried.
Abortion activists are complaining that these new regulations add costs and administrative work for abortion clinics. However, their biggest problem appears to be that the regulations draw attention to the humanity of the unborn child.
The Nation’s Rebecca Grant wrote a piece attacking the new legislative effort this week, claiming that politicians want to mandate “funerals for fetuses.”
The legislation, modeled after Americans United for Life’s Unborn Infants Dignity Act, does not require anyone to hold a funeral. It recognizes that unborn babies should be treated with the same dignity as other human beings by requiring that their dead bodies be disposed of through cremation or burial. And that seems to be abortion activists’ key problem.
According to Americans United for Life, the legislation “requires that regardless of the circumstances of their demise, every deceased unborn infant is treated with dignity and respect and that the bodies of aborted infants cannot be sold.”
In response, Jennifer Dalven, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, told The Nation, “these laws are certainly attempts to shame and stigmatize women who have decided to have abortions. Telling them that the embryonic tissue has to be cremated or buried signals that the state is treating the embryo or fetus as a person.”
The issue of personhood has broiled at the center of debate for as long as the anti-abortion movement has existed. To its disciples, life begins at conception; ergo, abortion is murder. Establish that a fetus is a person, or afford it the same rights as a person, and you are one thrust away from dismantling access to abortion.
However efforts to pass personhood laws, which not only criminalize abortion but also ban many forms of contraception, have collapsed time and time again. These measures have even failed to pass in deep-red states like North Dakota and Mississippi, but the CMP videos cultivated the political interest needed to open this conversation again.
With fetal remains laws, says Dr. Alta Charo, a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, “it is about trying to build a culture of attitude around the fetus which would then set the stage for revisiting earlier decisions about the rights of woman to control their body at expense of fetal development.”
This cultural war is pernicious. Centering the discussion on the fetus rather than the woman obscures the real issue at stake—a woman’s constitutional right to access abortion and determine what happens to her body. It also vilifies the women who assert this right, as well as the care providers.
Yet, abortion activists are denying science. Unborn babies are unique, living human beings from the moment of conception, and scientific evidence proves it.
Millions of people were shocked last year when they learned that Planned Parenthood treats unborn babies’ body parts like commodities, haggling over the prices of their organs and crushing certain parts of their bodies to harvest specific parts.
In the past year, several state investigations uncovered more horrific occurrences. In Ohio, state investigators found Planned Parenthood was having aborted babies’ bodies “steam cooked” before being dumped in a landfill. South Carolina fined three abortion facilities in its state for improper disposal of aborted babies’ body parts, too. In another horrific discovery, the U.S. House investigation discovered that aborted babies’ brains were dissected at a summer camp for students in New Mexico.
Since the Center for Medical Progress released its undercover videos, abortion activists have been working hard to do damage control. This attack on the new legislative effort is just their latest attempt to hide the abortion industry’s callous, inhumane treatment of unborn babies from the public.