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Media Outlets Spread Misinformation About Infant Dignity Laws that Provide Families Compassionate Choices

Contact: Kristi Hamrick, Americans United for Life, 202-289-1478, press@aul.org

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- Abortion advocates have recently released a flood of outlandish and deceptive claims intended to defeat and discredit efforts to ensure that deceased infants (no matter how they died) receive dignified and respectful treatment, noted Americans United for Life (AUL) staff attorney Anna Paprocki. In response and in advance of the 2017 state legislative sessions where such laws will be introduced and debated, AUL, the legal arm of the pro-life movement, has released a Myths and Facts analysis to confront the abortion industry's hysterical crusade to castigate these infant dignity laws as clandestine abortion regulations designed to deny women choices and shutter clinics. "Even in death, unborn infants receive no respect from an abortion industry anxious to portray such human beings as trash," observed Paprocki, who also wrote about these efforts to discredit the legislation for The Federalist.

Paprocki wrote: "In reality, these laws do not address, much less regulate, a woman's access to abortion. Infant dignity laws give families more choices when grieving the loss of their tiniest members."

States began considering "infant dignity" laws in response to diverse and tragic occurrences—some of which followed abortions, and many that did not. Hospitals refused to release miscarried infants' remains to their mothers for burial, families were unable to obtain certificates of stillbirth because their infants were miscarried too early, and, not surprisingly, deceased infants' body parts were discovered in dumpsters behind abortion clinics.

One fallacy that the abortion industry asserts is that such laws place a burden on women, when in fact it requires facilities – whether abortion clinic or hospital – to respectfully care for the bodies of infants who did not survive to birth. The institution is then required to ensure that an infant's remains are cremated or buried—not incinerated, tossed in dumpsters, or flushed through a sewer system with medical waste. A mother who suffers miscarriage or stillbirth has the additional option of donating her infant's remains in compliance with her state's Anatomical Gifts Act.

Americans United for Life's Unborn Infants Dignity Act, frequently consulted by state legislators, addresses these tragedies by regulating the actions of healthcare "institutions," not patients. The model law requires abortion clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities to offer women the opportunity to bury or cremate their deceased unborn children when they have reached a stage of development where they have recognizable body parts. If a woman does not choose to make these arrangements, the institution must simply obtain her consent before disposing of her infant's remains.

Abortion advocates' contentions that they cannot comply with infant dignity laws because they are vague or too costly are also patently ridiculous.

Paprocki noted: "The Eighth Circuit rejected a claim that an infant dignity law in Minnesota was vague because, at times, it might be difficult to determine the need for compliance (i.e., in some first-trimester abortions). Like the AUL model, the Minnesota law requires burial or cremation once an infant has 'cartilaginous structures' and 'fetal or skeletal parts.' The court held that, while these cases may present challenges, 'marginal cases cannot defeat the statute.'"

To learn more about AUL's model Unborn Infants Dignity Act, click here.
Americans United for Life (AUL) is the legal architect of the pro-life movement. We are accumulating victories, building momentum, and advancing a culture of life in America. Our vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life since 1971.