In view of the fact that most people are unaware that they can and must bury such small babies, here is the procedure to follow:
a. at the request of the parents: for the individual burial of babies who are miscarried;
b. at the request of the Movement: for the burial of babies who are the result of voluntary abortions.
- a. In the case of a miscarriage
- The mother – in the case of a miscarriage – informs the Doctor or Obstetrician that she wants to bury her child.
1. The burial application form, on unstamped paper and in triplicate, enclosed with a copy of the medical certificate, must be presented by the mother (or father, or relative or “representative”) within 24 hours of the expulsion or extraction of the fetus (Art. 7 sub-section 3 and 4 of Presidential Decree 10.9.90 n. 285)
2. The first copy goes to the Head Nurse of the ward; the second copy must be handed in to the Hospital’s Health Department; the third copy is for the applicant. The receipt of the request must be signed and dated by the Head Nurse and the Health Department.
3. The medical certificate that has to be attached to the request must be requested from the Gynaecologist who assisted the mother or who performed the operation and it must include the estimate age of gestation and the fetus’ weight.
4. The mother (father, relative or representative) asks the Obstetrician to label the jar containing the aborted baby with the name it would have given the baby and the mother’s name and surname: for example “Giuseppe (Rossi) of Maria Bianchi” (in this way the baby can be called with its own name and not as the “abortive product of Maria Bianchi”).
5. For the individual burial of the corpse of the baby who was aborted, it is advisable to go to the Town Office in charge of burials, in order to establish the details; for example, the religious ceremony in church, transportation to the cemetery, etc.
Upon request, a copy of the burial application with the proper receipt stamps can be presented for approval (since it must be kept in case of difficulties).
In that case, one can choose whether to entrust the transport of the corpse to the Municipality or to a private funeral home. The Municipalities are usually well-organized and have services similar to private funeral homes. The costs are usually low. The burial space at the cemetery is usually established in the area provided for stillborn babies and the products of conception (Art. 50, D.P.R. 285/90).
6. It is a good idea to make arrangements with the Parish Priest for the celebration of a funeral Mass or with the Hospital’s Priest to at least have the little corpse blessed before its burial in the cemetery.
b. In the case of an induced abortion
The burial takes place upon the request of the “Armata Bianca’s Pro-Life Movement” which acts as the “representative” provided for by the law.
Those who feel the moral duty to dedicate themselves to this work of mercy (previous to appropriate arrangements with our Movement) can form an association like the Armata Bianca’s Pro-Life Movement of Aquila in their town, otherwise they can act as representatives of our Movement in the area.
First, they must contact the Hospital in order to establish an agreement protocol.
After making the agreement, each month the volunteers who take part in this initiative must:
- Provide the containers and biodegradable bags for each body and the wooden boxes in which six to eight individual containers are arranged.
- Make arrangements with the people in charge at the Hospital and agree on the time and details of the monthly withdrawal as well as filling in the register of loading and unloading in which the Hospital will indicate the number of babies consigned and the person in charge of the Association will countersign upon collection.
- Ask the person in charge of the Municipality if, as in many places, it is willing to transport the boxes from the H ospital to the cemetery. Otherwise, make arrangements with a Funeral Home; in this case the Association will take care of the costs.
- Make arrangements with a Priest to bless the little corpses once a month using the ritual of the Catholic Church for children’s funerals; accompany the corpses in procession to the place established for the burial, praying the Rosary during the act of burial.
If anyone would like to commit themselves to this work of mercy – burying the dead – and in this witness of faith – life is sacred from the moment of conception – contact the head office of the Armata Bianca’s Pro-Life Movement in Aquila, via Santa Apollonia, 8 – 67100 L’Aquila.