ACLU threatening to sue over release of fetuses by coroner
masinter at NSU.ACAST.NOVA.EDU
Thu Oct 15 15:41:37 PDT 1998
Rob Weinberg has already posted the press release. I would only add that
Antigone does not address the burial of fetuses, whether aborted or
miscarried. As for western tradition, there is no general tradition of
ceremonial burial for miscarried remains. The California courts were
right the first time; this is not Agostini and it is not religious
neutrality . Unless, of course, the state also distributes some of the
fetal remains to the many (this is California) non-mainstream religions
which may use them in ways many might find offensive. I think the ACLU is
right, and should be commended for its exercise of both legal and moral
Michael R. Masinter 3305 College Avenue
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33314
Shepard Broad Law Center (954) 262-6151
masinter at law.acast.nova.edu
On Thu, 15 Oct 1998, Jim Henderson wrote:
> True that it was litigated previously, as, we might add, was the use of
> federally funded remedial instructors on the campuses of parochial schools in
> New York City. Tommorrow is, they say, another day.
> More to the point, what does it say of the California judiciary in the prior
> instance, that they were so ready to ignore settled law and the traditions of
> Western Civilization to deny decent burial to aborted human remains.
> For reading on this topic, I recommend, if you can find it, Pat Monaghan's
> article, "Humane Provisions for Aborted Human Remains." It appears in Volume
> 29, Number 4 of the Catholic Lawyer, at page 365 et seq.
> For thinking on this topic, I suggest Sophocles' Antigone:
> ANTIGONE: "What, hath not Creon destined our brothers, the one to honoured
> burial, the other to unburied shame? Eteocles, they say, with due observance
> of right and custom, he hath laid in the earth, for his honour among the dead
> below. But the hapless corpse of Polyneices-as rumour saith, it hath been
> published to the town that none shall entomb him or mourn, but leave unwept,
> unsepulchred, a welcome store for the birds, as they espy him, to feast on at
> How many sadnesses in history result from the simple failure to allow those
> who are touched by the deaths of others to show the respect they feel proper.
> The ACLU, of course, may obtain Creon's order, but it will not be a high
> moment for people, for society, for the Constitution, for culture.
> Jim Henderson
> Senior Counsel
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