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Bill requires aborted fetuses cremated, buried

state capitol
Posted at 6:15 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 11:36:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A bill requiring either the cremation or burial of aborted fetuses passed through a state house subcommittee Tuesday.

It would require the woman having the abortion or healthcare facility to pay for the handling of the process. The sponsor, state representative Tim Rudd of Murfreesboro, said he's trying to create a process to treat aborted fetuses with dignity.

"Aborted human beings are not treated with any dignity right now. Some of them are ground up and flushed down the toilet. Some are thrown in the trash can. Some are thrown in medical waste bags," said Rudd in an interview after the committee meeting.

Representatives from Planned Parenthood said they strongly opposed the measure. They believe it's meant to cause shame for women seeking an abortion.

Ebony Wiggins, who is a storyteller for Planned Parenthood, said she doesn't see how it's fair the bill has requirements for abortions, but not for miscarriages.

"It's only for somebody who has an aborted fetus. For that reason I don't know how this bill is not built completely around shame," said Wiggins.

There were some supporters in the meeting, Tuesday.

Annette Lancaster, with And Then There Were None, said she believes the bill brings more respect for the would-be mother.

"This bill does not put any shame on the mother," said Lancaster. "It does the exact opposite. This bill allows the mother to have some memory somewhere to go visit her child. Just like you would if your grandmother or any family member were to pass away or keep the cremated remains. It gives the mother something to reflect back on other than the horrible memory of being in a cold gray clinic."

The bill passed with a positive recommendation to the full health committee.