Legislation is headed to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb that would require women completing a pill-induced abortion at home to be told they can return the embryonic remains to their abortion clinic or hospital for disposal through burial or cremation.
The Republican-controlled General Assembly gave final approval Wednesday to Senate Enrolled Act 299, which passed with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate because many lawmakers believe it does not limit or burden abortion access in Indiana.
If the measure becomes law, as expected, 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.
State law since 2016 has obligated abortion providers to dispose of aborted fetuses in their possession through burial or cremation, rather than as medical waste.
That requirement, however, was on hold until last year when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed Indiana's disposal mandate.
Opponents suggested it's unlikely women expelling the products of a pill-induced abortion into a toilet or bathtub at home will 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.