Fetal Burial Requirements

One way states regulate abortion access is by imposing requirements related to the disposal of tissue after an abortion has occurred. Although most states do not specifically regulate the disposal of aborted embryonic or fetal tissue, some states mandate the burial or cremation of such tissue. Additionally, some states that allow for other medical waste disposal options require providers to offer patients the option of burial or cremation.  

This dataset explores laws that impose requirements related to the burial or cremation of aborted embryonic and/or fetal tissue in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It covers changes in these laws from December 1, 2018 through November 1, 2022, as well as case law and attorney general opinions that affect the enforceability of these laws.     

This dataset is a part of a suite of 17 datasets created by Center for Public Health Law Research in collaboration with subject matter experts from the Guttmacher Institute, Resources for Abortion Delivery (RAD), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), National Abortion Federation (NAF), and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), who conceptualized and developed the Abortion Law Project. If you need broader contextual information on state laws and policies, national level information, or data and evidence related to abortion and other reproductive health issues, please contact the Guttmacher Institute at info@guttmacher.org.   

Disclaimer: The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions regarding your legal rights or obligations, contact an attorney. If you are an abortion provider seeking legal compliance guidance, the following collaborating organizations may be able to assist you: ACLU, CRR, PPFA (for affiliated health centers), NAF, and Regulatory Assistance for Abortion Providers (a project of RAD).  

If you have any questions about the information provided here, please contact LawAtlas@temple.edu or RAAP@radprogram.org.

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