Here’s what will happen after a woman gets an abortion in the state of Indiana, starting this July. She will be told, verbally and in writing, that she has the right to choose what she does with her aborted fetus. 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.
This is what the state’s legislature decided back in March. It passed a wide-ranging bill, making it a criminal offense to dispose of fetal remains in any other way besides burial or cremation, including in cases of abortions, miscarriages, and stillbirths.
Which raises a question: Why would a state create a mourning ritual for no one?