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What happens to fetal remains after an abortion?

Though laws vary from state to state regarding protocols for the disposal of aborted fetal remains — technically known as “fetal disposition” — in most cases, these remains are transferred by the abortion provider to a company specializing in the disposal of medical waste. Typically, these remains are incinerated. In some states, the law requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated. In other states, laws are so loose that fetal remains can legally be put down a garbage disposal and into the public sewers.

Authorities have discovered numerous cases of abortion providers or medical waste disposal companies illegally disposing of fetal remains. These remains have been found dumped in landfills, stockpiled in warehouses, and even hoarded in abortion providers’ offices, homes, and car trunks.

In a handful of cases, pro-life activists have recovered fetal remains and given them a proper burial. There are over 50 such burial sites scattered throughout the United States.


Brown, Kristi Burton. “Fetal Disposition: The Abuses and the Law.” American Reports Series 13. Charlotte Lozier Institute. December 2016. https://s27589.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/ARS_FetalDisposition_final.pdf.

National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. “Gravesites.” Accessed October 19, 2023. https://nationaldayofremembrance.org/gravesites/.

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