Republicans Are Trying To Legislate How We Grieve

Republicans are repulsive people. This is a known fact. But the latest attempt in Indiana to legislate how we mourn takes it to a whole new level:

The law says that “a miscarried or aborted fetus must be interred or cremated by a facility having possession of the remains,” and requires “a person or facility having possession of a miscarried or aborted fetus to ensure that the miscarried fetus or aborted fetus is preserved until final disposition occurs.”

It doesn’t matter how far along the pregnancy is. Normally when a pregnancy ends earlier than 20 weeks, the “products of conception” (fetal tissue and the placenta) are treated like any other medical waste. After 20 weeks, the fetus is considered a “stillbirth” and the parents typically have the option to cremate or bury it if they choose.

So even if a woman has a miscarriage at 8 weeks of pregnancy at home, under this law she could be required to keep the blood and tissue, take it to a hospital, and have it buried or cremated by a funeral home.

Several other states have also passed similar laws (care to guess what color they are on the electoral map?).

But why do this?

Legislating Grief

For the last several years, I’ve asked pro-“life” proponents who insist that fertilized eggs and zygotes and fetuses are fully realized people a very basic question: If this is the case, why is it that no culture on the planet hold funerals for miscarriages or abortions?

No one has been able to offer a coherent answer and for good reason: No one has a funeral for a miscarriage because miscarriages are not people.

So Republicans are trying to┬áredefine how we view miscarriages. They want us to consider them the moral and legal equivalent of the death of a child. Even if the “child” in this case is an 8-week-old microscopic collection of cells.

Let that sink in for a moment: Republicans, the party of “small government,” are literally telling you how to grieve. I can’t imagine a more intrusive abuse of government short of prima nocta.

Full disclosure, I actually buried two miscarriages

Sort of. 2006 was a rough year and my wife and I suffered two miscarriages. We buried the sonograms of two lost pregnancies, planted a tree and set up a plaque:

baby rosario

You’d think that I would be proof that miscarriages are people worthy of mourning. But you’d be very wrong. We were not mourning a lost child, we were mourning the lost possibilities. I have three children now and I can tell you without reservation that I would rather face 1000 miscarriages than lose one of them. There simply is no comparison.

Anyone that claims they would be just as hurt by the loss of a fetus as they would a child they held in their arms is, at best, a liar and at worst, a monster that thinks very little of their children.

That Republicans would try to further traumatize women by legislating their grief is a reflection of how cruel and debased the party has become.

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