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Indiana governor signs abortion law encouraging return of embryonic remains
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2020 Indiana General Assembly

Indiana governor signs abortion law encouraging return of embryonic remains

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Eric Holcomb

Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks during a news conference at the Statehouse Thursday. The Republican has signed into law a requirement that women completing a pill-induced abortion at home be told they can return the embryonic remains to an abortion clinic or hospital for burial or cremation.

A new state law requires women completing a pill-induced abortion at home to be told they can return the embryonic remains to their clinic or hospital for disposal through burial or cremation.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act 299 into law Wednesday. It takes effect July 1.

Under the statute, women completing a pill-induced abortion away from a clinic or hospital would be encouraged — but not required — to collect the embryonic remains and return them for what supporters consider "dignified" disposal.

Critics of the new law suggested women expelling the products of a pill-induced abortion into a toilet or bathtub are unlikely to collect the approximately grape-sized embryonic remains in a container and transport it back to a likely distant abortion clinic or hospital.

State records show 41% of the 8,037 abortions completed in Indiana in 2018, the most recent year with complete data available, were pill-induced.

Indiana law requires pill-induced abortions be completed in the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

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