Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a pro-life law this spring that requires the dignified burial or cremation of aborted babies’ bodies.
Murfreesboro Voice reports the Unborn Child Dignity Act, which will go into effect July 1, is based on an Indiana law that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2019.
The legislation requires abortion facilities to bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies from surgical abortions and pay the costs. It allows mothers to decide the location for final disposition and choose between burial and cremation. Exceptions would be allowed for criminal investigations and miscarriages.
“I am very grateful this legislation was passed by the General Assembly and has now been signed into law,” said state Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, a lead sponsor of the law. “It is a tragedy in Tennessee that we regulate how veterinarians properly dispose of the remains of animals, but there are no regulations regarding human babies. These are the remains of human beings and should be treated as such. This new law corrects that oversight and ensures that the remains of unborn children are treated with dignity.”
The pro-life legislation 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.
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Legislation requiring burial or cremation of aborted babies helps ensure that abortion facilities are appropriately disposing of their bodies. It also helps to prevent abortion facilities from selling aborted babies’ body parts.
State Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro, the other lead sponsor of the law, said Tennessee supports unborn babies’ right to life.
“While it’s disheartening that we have to propose legislation to ensure a preborn child’s body will be treated with the same respect as any other human being, I’m grateful for the support,” Rudd said. “I thank the governor and my colleagues for their commitment to defend and honor all life with this important legislation.”
About 11,000 unborn babies are aborted in Tennessee every year, according to the report.
Tennessee is the 12th state to enact requirements for the dignified disposition of aborted babies’ bodies, WKMS News reports.
In the past several years, a number of states have passed legislation to regulate how abortion facilities dispose of aborted babies’ bodies. Their actions came in the wake of viral undercover videos that exposed top officials at Planned Parenthood negotiating the prices of aborted babies’ body parts.
Indiana passed a similar law and later 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 September 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.