The Tennessee House passed a pro-life bill Monday to require that abortion facilities bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies.

WKMS News reports state House Bill 1181, which appears likely to become law, would make Tennessee the 12th state to enact requirements for the dignified disposition of aborted babies’ bodies.

The House voted 69-22 in favor of the legislation. It now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

The bill requires abortion facilities to bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies from surgical abortions and pay the costs. Mothers would be allowed to decide the location for final disposition and choose between burial and cremation. Exceptions would be allowed for criminal investigations and miscarriages.

State Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro, who sponsored the bill, said they want to “restore the dignity of this unborn child,” according to the Nashville Post.

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The pro-life bill is one of the ways lawmakers hope to provide at least some dignity to unborn babies while Roe v. Wade remains. Last year, state lawmakers passed a heartbeat law to protect unborn babies by banning almost all abortions in Tennessee. However, a federal court blocked the law.

Legislation requiring burial or cremation of aborted babies helps ensure that abortion facilities are appropriately disposing of their bodies. It also helps to prevent abortion facilities from selling aborted babies’ body parts.

Here’s more from WKMS:

State Rep. Robin Smith, R-Hixson, says she came across fetal remains in the morgue while working as a hospital nurse.

“It’s not fetal tissue,” she said. “It’s dismembered children. … We’re going to treat them as they are — the created human that is pre-born.”

However, some abortion activists and Democrat lawmakers criticized the legislation as an attack on abortion, including state Rep. London Lamar, D-Memphis, according to the local news.

“All I’m going to say is this is one of the most offensive pieces of legislation I’ve heard this year — offensive for women who’ve actually had to bury children,” Lamar said. “What you are doing is further using your legislative powers to bring trauma on women who decide to make that choice.”

Prior to the vote, abortion activists held a protest outside the Capitol, Fox 17 reports.

In the past several years, a number of states have passed legislation to regulate how abortion facilities dispose of aborted babies’ bodies. Their actions came in the wake of viral undercover videos that exposed top officials at Planned Parenthood negotiating the prices of aborted babies’ body parts.

Indiana passed a similar law and later won a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019.

A gruesome discovery inside a late Indiana abortionist’s garage further demonstrated the need for such laws. In September 2019, authorities found 2,246 preserved remains of aborted babies stored in boxes in late Indiana abortionist Ulrich Klopfer’s garage in Illinois. A few weeks later, they found 165 more babies’ remains in a vehicle stored on one of his properties. Klopfer’s family reported finding the remains shortly after he died.

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