Message Tab

Swedish church introduces burial rites for fetuses aborted for medical reasons


BORAS, Sweden (RNS) — Bishops of the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden have issued instructions for burial rites for aborted fetuses, called a “pastoral ceremony” that does not include a worship service.

The instructions were contained in a bishops’ letter published on Dec. 13.

Bishop Erik Aurelius, one of the authors of the document, told Religion News Service that the instructions were issued because “there have already been reports of a small number of cases of such burials.”

He said the church envisions a pastoral ceremony for fetuses aborted in late pregnancies for medical reasons. Priests will not question why the abortions were conducted, even if fetuses aborted in early pregnancies, for non-medical reasons, were presented for burial.