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August 16, 2019

The Law and Ethics of Fetal Burial Requirements for Reproductive Health Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics, School of Law, University of San Diego, San Diego, California
  • 2Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, Harvard Law School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 3Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
JAMA. 2019;322(14):1347-1348. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.12713

On May 28, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States decided the constitutionality of a far-reaching new abortion law.1 The 7 to 2 ruling in Box v Planned Parenthood upheld an Indiana provision that mandates any clinician or facility providing abortion to bury or cremate fetal remains, no different than the requirements for cadavers. The Court declined to review a separate provision that bars any abortion that is sought on the basis of sex, race, or genetic disability.1 This Viewpoint examines the practical implications of the Court’s decision for physicians and their patients.

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