By Alexandra DeSanctis | National Review
Republicans have introduced legislation prompted by the discovery of 2,246 fetal remains in the home of former abortionist Ulrich George Klopfer.
Senator Mike Braun (R., Ind.) is sponsoring new legislation requiring abortion providers to dispose of the remains of aborted fetuses through either burial or cremation. The senator introduced the Dignity for Aborted Children Act late last week in the wake of news that more than 2,200 fetal remains had been discovered inside the Illinois home of deceased abortionist Ulrich George Klopfer.
The attorneys general in Illinois and Indiana — the latter of which was the primary site of Klopfer’s work, where he performed tens of thousands of abortions over several decades — have opened an investigation into how and why the medically preserved remains of aborted fetuses ended up stored in his home.
“The horrific discovery in Dr. Klopfer’s home was a wake-up call to a problem that’s sadly not an isolated incident: the remains of aborted children being treated with irreverence and disrespect,” Braun told National Review in an email. “Following that grisly discovery, the questions on everyone’s mind were, ‘How was this allowed to happen, and how do we make sure it never happens again?’”
Braun, along with several of his fellow Republican lawmakers, has introduced this new piece of legislation to enforce a uniform federal policy for the respectful handling of fetal remains, given that most states don’t regulate their proper disposal after abortion procedures. The legislation is being co-sponsored by a group of GOP senators: Todd Young of Indiana, Steve Daines of Montana, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Rick Scott of Florida, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
The Dignity for Aborted Children Act also contains a reporting component, requiring that all abortion providers submit annual reports to the Health and Human Services Department detailing the number of abortion procedures performed, the gestational age of each unborn child at the time of the abortion, and the number of fetal remains released to patients or transferred for interment or cremation.
Braun’s Indiana is one of just a few states already to have laws in place regulating the appropriate disposal of fetal remains after abortion procedures — and when that legislation passed, Braun himself was a member of the state legislature. Last term, the Supreme Court upheld the Indiana law, which requires abortion clinics either to bury or cremate remains in the same way that state laws require burial or cremation of the remains of adult humans.
Justice Clarence Thomas noted in a concurring opinion that nothing in the Constitution or prior Supreme Court rulings “prevents a state from requiring abortion facilities to provide for the respectful treatment of human remains.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, meanwhile, wrote in her dissent that “the case implicates the right of a woman to have an abortion before viability and to obtain it without undue interference from the state.”