Tennessee House: Fetal remains must be cremated or buried

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – A new abortion bill is on its way to the Senate after being passed by the Tennessee House of Representatives. If approved, this legislation would expect medical providers or women to cremate or bury fetal remains from the surgical abortions they perform.”

In addition, this new bill would require medical providers to cover the costs of the cremation or burial while allowing the woman  “the right to determine” the method and location for the disposal, though she may also choose  NOT to exercise that right. 

Opponents of House Bill 1181 say that it does not support reproductive rights of women, while supporters believe that there is a responsibility to take care of the fetus or unborn child.

“What it is , is a solution looking for a problem. What we are going to do is add additional financial , mental, emotional trauma & burdens to women who already have to make a very tough decision in the first place. What they are trying to do is sway women from seeking that service anyway,” says Democratic Rep. London Lamar.

“Once a child is conceived. There comes some responsibility with the decision to be sexually active. Part of the responsibility of being sexually active is knowing you may have a child. I reject the notion that abortion should be treated like birth control,” says Republican Representative Robin Smith.

Supporters of the bill argue that it will protect human dignity.

“This by no means is passing judgement on women that are making a tough choice. Understanding that women who experience an unplanned pregnancy, it’s never easy. It’s by no means restricting their access to abortion. It’s really just codifies that in the state of Tennessee a child who is terminated by its mother and an abortion provider; that child will be treated like a child as opposed to medical waste,” says Rep. Smith.

Democrats disagree. 

“These are board certified procedures and standards that are put into place for dealing with the remains of those having that procedure. It’s not there isn’t any dignity in the process. There’s complete dignity in the process,” says Rep. Lamar. 

Governor Bill Lee hasn’t publicly weighed in on the bill, but has stressed his opposition to abortion, in the past. 

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News, Regional News

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