Analysis

Abortion clinics’ “waste disposal” methods – a place for pro-life activism?

Behold the patriarchy!

Pro-lifers have employed many strategies to drive abortion clinics out of business, and have had tremendous success within the past few years. One thing that pro-life activists haven’t tried as frequently is regulating what abortion clinics do with the bodies of the babies they abort.

Monica Migliorino Miller, in her book Abandoned, talks about how she and fellow activists started a crusade against a pet cemetery that was incinerating the bodies of aborted babies along with those of cats and dogs. Her efforts shone a spotlight on the grisly business of abortion and led to the end of the practice of burning babies along with animals in the pet cemetery’s  crematorium.

I am also reminded of the single person who closed an abortion clinic by pressuring a lab company to stop working with the clinic. Sometimes putting (peaceful) pressure on companies that serve abortion clinics can have an impact.

From a Businessweek article that discusses recent laws against abortion:

Senate Bill No. 54 would require fetal remains to be cremated or buried separately from other medical waste and make noncompliance a felony punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

Soon after the bill was introduced, Renée Chelian, a petite 61-year-old who opened her first abortion clinic in suburban Detroit in 1976, called every funeral director and cremation company in the metropolitan area to see if they’d be willing to handle fetal remains from her clinics. Most told her no. When she finally found one willing to comply with the guidelines, the quoted price was $250 per disposal—“…..

“I don’t want them to start harassing you,” she says. “Do you have any vehicle you can pick up in that doesn’t have your name?” Yes, the man replies. “I mean, it’s your business and you have to do what you have to do, but I don’t want to lose you as a contractor because you had the name on your truck.” She hangs . “Without medical waste pickup, we’re in trouble.”

Indeed. Without something to do with the dead bodies of the babies they kill, abortion clinics cannot stay in business. Some have resorted to throwing their babies in the trash, but this has become problematic because a number of pro-lifers have taken the bodies and buried them in funeral ceremonies  that drew negative attention to the clinics and gave those pesky pro-lifers ammunition in the battle to end abortion.

So perhaps it would be valuable to find out whether your local abortion clinic has an agreement with a funeral home in the area, or whether they incinerate the remains or dispose of them in some other way. They have to hire someone to take away the medical waste and the dead babies. Putting pressure on that company, perhaps by starting a petition, organizing a letter writing campaign, or calling for a boycott, could have a big impact.

In addition, laws regulating how the remains of babies must be treated not only gives a small amount of dignity to the babies, but can work to hinder abortion clinics as well.

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