PARENTS’ RIGHT TO BURY THEIR UNBORN BABY TO BE DECIDED SOON
On Tuesday 9 September, Craig Snyders, Attorney for Cause for Justice, joined Benito Vergotine in studio to discuss this sensitive topic.
Listen to the conversation here:
On 14 and 15 November 2019, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will hear argument for the purpose of deciding whether parents who lose their unborn child before 26 weeks in the womb should have the right to choose to receive the bodily remains of their miscarried baby for burial.
Under current South African law, babies who are miscarried prior to 26 weeks of gestation are regarded as “medical waste” (and disposed together with other remains of medical and surgical procedures). This means that grieving parents are prohibited by law from receiving their baby’s bodily remains for the purposes of a burial.
The Voice of the Unborn Baby NPC (“the Applicant”) brought this matter against the Ministers of Home Affairs and Health (“the Respondents”), respectively. The case is based on the real and deep bereavement experienced by grieving parents and their legal entitlement to bury their miscarried baby.
Cause for Justice (“CFJ”), a non-profit human rights organisation who seeks to advance constitutional justice in South Africa, has joined the matter as a friend of the court (an amicus curiae party). CFJ will assist the court in interpreting and applying the constitutional rights, values and interests implicated by the facts of this important case.
CFJ is of the view that the current state of the law is a dreadful miscarriage of justice and cannot remain unchallenged. For grieving parents, the loss of their unborn child – whether at 26 weeks and 1 day or at 25 weeks and 6 days – is the loss of a precious human life and a loved one. South Africans should be legally entitled to the human dignity of being able to bury their loved ones.
CFJ calls on the public to not remain silent, but to lend its voice and engage with the important issues raised by The Voice of the Unborn Baby NPC-matter. The profound and urgent questions this case asks about the promotion and protection of the right to human dignity in South Africa, require answers.
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