Humanizing Aborted Fetuses Through Burial

A new law in Indiana requires that the bodies of aborted fetuses by treated with the respect due any dead human body. From The Atlantic story by Emma Green:

She will be given a list of her options for disposal, and offered counseling. The fetus does not have to be named, but it will receive its own burial-transit form, just like any dead body.

This form will travel with it to a funeral home, where it will be buried or cremated. There won’t necessarily be a ceremony; the fetus may not get its own headstone or urn. But it will be laid to rest in the way of a human. Aborted fetuses in Indiana, nearly all smaller than a peapod, will no longer be treated as medical waste.

Note Green’s attempt to dismiss fetal humanity with the pea pod reference. But what does size have to do with what the fetus is or was?

Fetuses are gestating human beings. That’s basic biology.

Treating them as such humanizes them in a culture intent on their dehumanization, toward the end of making the choice of abortion easier. For example, there have been stories of aborted fetuses used as a fuel source for generating electricity.

Green notes that the woman need not participate:

If families choose not to handle the disposal process, hospitals and clinics are responsible for taking care of the remains, along with the funeral and cemetery businesses with which they work.

Absent state-mandated funerals or car rides to the crematorium, women don’t have to help their fetuses come to a dignified end; abortion providers and funeral directors will be the only witnesses to the interment or cremation.

And even though fetuses are now afforded the disposition rights of humans, they still don’t have other rights of personhood—including, for example, the right to life. According to United States law, fetuses are not people.

No, they are nascent human beings that have been stripped by courts of all rights. Not the same thing at all.

Moreover, some state laws treat dead fetuses as murder victims if a feticide that was caused by means other than abortion.

Of course, Planned Parenthood is suing!

In their joint lawsuit, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU argue that Indiana’s abortion law violates the principles of due process and equal protection. They say the law places an undue burden on both women and the health-care providers that perform abortions.

Will the courts go so far as to overturn a law that treats aborted fetuses as what they are–dead human beings?

Here’s the bottom line: Having or participating in an abortion is–or should be–a decision of immense moral dimensions.

This law that does not interfere in the least with the “right to choose,” but ensures that the “choice” is based on a full consideration of all pertinent facts, particularly the humanity of the life to be extinguished.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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