State Rep. Casey Cox (left) with Gov. Mike Pence, who signed HEA 1337, a sweeping abortion bill that is creating an array of unintended consequences. Cox was defeated in the May Republican primary.
Saturday, May 28, 2016 10:08 AM
By MAUREEN HAYDEN
CNHI Statehouse Bureau
INDIANAPOLIS - A new abortion law is confounding doctors, hospital
officials and even funeral directors - and not just because of the usual
controversies that swirl around the politics of reproduction. Set to
take effect July 1, the law considers all fetal tissue, no matter how
small or early in its development, as human remains that should be
properly buried or cremated.
Those who must carry out the mandate
worry about the potential of thousands more burials and cremations due
to the high number miscarriages in early pregnancy. The law is
vague, they contend, and likely to be broken, even if unintentionally.
“We’ve asked questions, and nobody seems to have the answers,” said
Curtis Rostad, head of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association.
treatment of fetal remains is a small piece of the law, which passed
the General Assembly earlier this year and made Indiana only the second
state to prohibit abortions because of fetal anomaly. The procedures are
banned if prompted by prenatal tests that detect birth defects or
disease. The law also made Indiana the first state to require all fetal remains be buried or cremated. Planned
Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are challenging the
restrictions as unconstitutional. Indiana University has sued
separately, saying the protection of fetal remains will make it a felony
for scientists to conduct certain research.
the bill say its intent is clear. State policies should restrict the
practice of treating fetal tissue like any other medical waste, they
argue. Currently, medical waste disposal companies may accept the
remains. "It's about furthering a sense of humanity," said
Republican Rep. Casey Cox, a Fort Wayne attorney who carried a House
version of the bill. "It's about changing our thinking with respect to
these remains and what they mean to us as a society."