A Tennessee bill that requires abortion facilities bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies is on its way to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk.
“These unborn children, many of them up to almost full term, deserve the same dignity as any other human being,” said state Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro, the lead sponsor of the bill.
State House Bill 1181 requires abortion facilities to bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies from surgical abortions and pay the costs. Mothers would be allowed to decide the location for final disposition and choose between burial and cremation. Exceptions would be allowed for criminal investigations and miscarriages.
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The pro-life bill is one of the ways lawmakers hope to provide at least some dignity to unborn babies while Roe v. Wade remains. Last year, state lawmakers passed a heartbeat law to protect unborn babies by banning almost all abortions in Tennessee. However, a federal court blocked the law.
Legislation requiring the burial or cremation of aborted babies ensures that abortion facilities are appropriately disposing of their bodies. It also helps to prevent abortion facilities from selling aborted babies’ body parts.
Tennessee is the 12th state to enact such requirements.
A few abortion activists and Democrat lawmakers criticized the bill prior to the vote. According to the local news, state Rep. London Lamar, D-Memphis, argued that the government should not legislate “women’s reproductive choices.” A small group of abortion activists also held a protest Wednesday in the state Capitol.
Growing evidence indicates that these laws are needed.
A number of states took action in the wake of viral undercover videos that exposed top officials at Planned Parenthood negotiating the prices of aborted babies’ body parts. The Center for Medical Progress investigation resulted in two California companies being shut down for selling aborted baby body parts.
Indiana was one of the first to pass a law requiring the dignified disposition of aborted babies’ bodies. The abortion industry challenged the law, but Indiana won a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019.
A gruesome discovery inside a late Indiana abortionist’s garage further demonstrated the need for such laws. In the fall of 2019, authorities found 2,246 preserved remains of aborted babies stored in boxes in late Indiana abortionist Ulrich Klopfer’s garage in Illinois. A few weeks later, they found 165 more babies’ remains in a vehicle stored on one of his properties. Klopfer’s family reported finding the remains shortly after he died.