NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee will soon become the latest state to require certain medical providers to cremate or bury fetal remains from surgical abortions under legislation recently signed by Republican Governor Bill Lee.
Roughly 10 other Republican-majority states have enacted similar laws across the country despite objections from reproductive rights advocates, who argue such requirements are unnecessary and stigmatize a legally available procedure.
However, supporters of such laws argue that it will protect human dignity without interfering with a woman’s abortion choice.
Lee signed the measure last week, which will be implemented starting July 1.
It will now be up to Tennessee's Republican Governor Bill Lee to decide whether some medical providers will be required to cremate or bury fetal remains from surgical abortions.
The proposal that received final legislative approval Wednesday in the GOP-supermajority Senate has sparked criticism among reproductive rights advocates, who argue such measures are unnecessary and would stigmatize a legally available procedure.
Supporters counter of the bill argue that it will protect human dignity.
According to the bill, medical providers must dispose of fetal remains from surgical abortions by cremation or burial and cover the costs.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision upheld a similar Indiana law.
At least 10 other states have enacted similar requirements, though legal challenges persist.
Tennessee Republicans are backing legislation that would require medical providers to cremate or bury fetal remains from surgical abortions.
They're doing so over objections that the measure could stigmatize a legally available procedure.
The proposal is gaining traction inside the GOP-controlled General Assembly, where legislative panels in both the House and Senate advanced the measure on Wednesday.
While Governor Bill Lee hasn’t publicly weighed in on the bill, the Republican has repeatedly stressed his opposition to abortion.
Supporters of the fetal-remains bill argue that it will protect human dignity.
Opponents say it is another attempt to obstruct and spark shame over abortion.