The use of fetal tissue from elective abortions is commonplace in the pharmaceutical industry and in medical research. Fetal tissue has been used since the 1930s for vaccine development, and more recently to help advance stem cell research and treatments for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Where women choose to donate their fetal tissue for research, they should be informed as part of the consent process what the mode of disposal will be, where this is known, whether any options will be available in that regard and whether the woman will be able to change her mind at a later date. Where options are available, the woman’s wishes should be recorded in order that they can be acted upon when the time comes.
You can choose to take the pregnancy remains away with you after treatment. You may take the fetal remains away at any gestation and regardless of treatment type and make your own arrangements for them. This may include arranging a private service, burial or cremation. Pregnancy remains at gestations not exceeding 24 weeks are not subject to the provisions of the Cremation Act or Regulations.
Although it is at their discretion, most crematoria are prepared to cremate them. Guidance from the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management gives advice on agreements establishments should have with burial and/or cremation authorities and other issues such as the packaging of pregnancy remains in readiness for burial/cremation.