Mississippi ‘Unborn Infants Dignity Act’ (SB 2171)
This law was last updated on Feb 6, 2019
SB 2171 would establish requirements for the final disposition of fetal remains, and prohibit the sale or transfer of fetal remains obtained from an abortion.
SB 2171 would require that the mother be given the opportunity to bury or dispose of the bodily remains of her infant. In every instance of fetal death, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, where a mother does not request the fetal remains, the funeral director or other person assuming responsibility for the final disposition of the bodily remains would need to obtain from the mother or her authorized representative a written authorization for final disposition on a form prescribed and furnished or approved by the Mississippi State Department of Health.
The mother or her authorized representative may direct the final disposition of the bodily remains to be burial, or cremation. Irrespective of the duration of pregnancy, the individual in charge of the institution where the bodily remains were expelled or extracted would be required to ensure that the final disposition of the bodily remains is by burial, or cremation.
Fetal Death Certificate
The bill would require a fetal death certificate for each fetal death to be filed with the state registrar, within three days after delivery, miscarriage, or abortion.
The funeral director or person assuming responsibility for the final disposition of the bodily remains would need to file the fetal death certificate. In the absence of such a person, the physician in attendance at or after the expulsion or extraction of bodily remains would need to file the certificate of fetal death. The medical certification would need to be completed and signed within forty-eight hours after delivery by the physician in attendance at or after the expulsion or extraction, except when inquiry into the cause of death is required by state law.
Harvesting Fetal Remains
The bill would prohibit a person from knowingly selling, transferring, distributing, giving away, accepting, using, or attempt to use fetal remains resulting from an abortion.
No person shall aid or abet any such sale, transfer, distribution, other unlawful disposition, acceptance, use, or attempted use of fetal remains resulting from an abortion.
Fetal remains obtained from an abortion would not be allowed to be used in animal or human research, experimentation, or study, or for transplantation, except for:
- diagnostic or remedial procedures which have the purpose of determining the life or health of the infant, ‘unborn infant,’ or the infant’s mother or preserving the life or health of the infant, ‘unborn infant,’ or the infant’s mother; or
- pathological study.
This bill would not allow a person to experiment upon an “unborn infant” who is intended to be aborted unless the experimentation is therapeutic to the “unborn infant.”
The bill would prohibit a person from performing or offering to perform an abortion where part or all of the justification or reason for the procedure is that the bodily remains may be used for animal or research, experimentation or transplantation.
Any person who violates any of the above provision would be guilt of a felony and subject to a fine of $10,000 and/or at least one year imprisonment, for each violation.
Health-care providers that fail to comply with the above requirements may also face suspension of their license for a period of at least a year.
Based on model legislation drafted by Americans United for Life.
1/14/19 – Introduced; referred to Public Health and Welfare Committee.
2/5/19 – Died in committee.