Post-abortive mother shares a unique perspective on fetal remains law with Ohio lawmakers

post-abortive, fetal remains, Ohio

An Ohio bill requiring the humane disposal of aborted fetal remains via burial or cremation has now passed both the House and Senate, and is expected to be signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine, as reported by Live Action News. The article notes, “Currently, fetal remains are often disposed of as medical waste in Ohio,” but the bill would ensure that “women who undergo abortions are able to choose if their child’s body is buried or cremated rather than tossed into a medical waste bin.”

One witness who testified on behalf of the bill before the House Civil Justice Committee on December 3, 2020, was Jessica Echeverry, whose abortion healing story was previously featured by Live Action News. Echeverry offered a rarely-heard perspective on the importance of the bill from a post-abortive mother’s point of view.

“At 18 years old, I had an abortion. In order to survive and carry on with my life, I buried it deep down inside, not realizing that there would be a time that I would have to face the reality of that decision,” testified Echeverry. “No matter how deep I buried it, I still struggled. I became depressed, and I attempted suicide twice. What I did not realize was that the abortion decision I had made, and that I convinced myself I was okay with, had actually become the foundation for all of my unhealthy decisions and relationships afterwards.”

Only after meeting her now-husband Charlie did Echeverry begin to heal from past traumas, her abortion among them. She realized that “I had to face the pain and the truth of my abortion, and allow myself to grieve and process my loss.” Her healing came both through professional counseling as well as her faith.

“Allowing myself to grieve the loss of my unborn child opened new levels of healing, and created in me a desire to have had my child properly buried. It was during this time that I began to ask myself what had happened to my child. Who knows if I would have chosen then a burial or cremation, but I can tell you that it is hauntingly true that part of the abortion experience is the knowledge that there will come a time — no matter how deep you bury it — there will come a time to face it.”

READ: Ohio bill to ensure proper burial or cremation for preborn babies’ remains heads to governor’s desk

She continued, “And in my healing I realized that there comes a time in the post-abortive healing process where a grieving mother wishes she had been given the option to choose what happens with her baby’s remains. I wish I was given at least that choice, so that in my painful memories of my abortion I could look back and say [that] even in my pain and ignorance at that time, at least I made the decision to act with dignity.”

Echeverry summarized the centrality of human dignity in the discussion about the disposal of aborted fetal remains, noting that “these unborn victims of abortion have, just as you and I have, the right to [be treated with] the dignity endowed on them by our Creator” and thus they have a right “to a proper burial and cremation.”

Echeverry closed with a question a friend had recently asked her, saying, “Do you know what truly separates us from animals?” The response was: “We bury our dead.” Echeverry ended with a plea: “I respectfully ask you [legislators], as dignified persons, to bury our dead.”

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