Bill on handling of fetal remains advances in Tennessee

Tennessee State Capitol
Posted at 10:19 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 23:19:34-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Republicans are backing legislation that would require medical providers to cremate or bury fetal remains from surgical abortions.

They're doing so over objections that the measure could stigmatize a legally available procedure.

The proposal is gaining traction inside the GOP-controlled General Assembly, where legislative panels in both the House and Senate advanced the measure on Wednesday. While Gov.

Bill Lee hasn’t publicly weighed in on the bill, the Republican has repeatedly stressed his opposition to abortion.

Supporters of the fetal-remains bill argue that it will protect human dignity. Opponents say it is another attempt to obstruct and spark shame over abortion.

Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis) issued a statement on the bill's passage:

“This bill shames a woman for seeking a legal abortion. There are no exceptions for real-world circumstances. There are no exceptions for religious customs. This is completely unnecessary for medical purposes. We don’t treat any other patients this way under the law and the legislature shouldn’t be passing laws that shame and demean people for their exercising their rights.”