An investigation by Rewire News documents how then Indiana Governor Mike Pence turned the Catholic dogma about personhood into a ghoulish public policy that shames women by forcing them to bury their fetal remains. Rewire explains:
“Legislation Pence signed as Indiana governor last year required all fetal remains to be cremated or buried, rather than disposed of as medical waste, as they have been in the United States for much of the last century. Based on religious beliefs about fetal ‘personhood,’ the measure’s sole purpose was, in Pence’s words, to ‘ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn’….The law’s melding of religion and public policy has defined the legacy of Pence, who now plays a crucial role in steering such policy at the national level. While many find comfort in fetal burial programs, imposing these practices on everyone who loses or ends a pregnancy can cause profound shame and distress…”
Like any lawmaker, Pence is welcome to have whatever beliefs he wants about “personhood” but when those beliefs become the basis for public policy, he’s crossed a line. Everyone should have the right to make their medical decisions without guidance from their lawmaker’s religious beliefs.