Utah Bill Requiring Aborted Babies to Be Buried or Cremated Advances to State Senate
A Utah bill requiring abortion providers to bury or cremate the remains of an aborted baby or miscarriage has passed the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and will now advance to the full senate.
The legislation would allow mothers to choose between the two options so that “fetal remains are treated with dignity and respect,” according to the bill’s sponsor Republican Senator Curt Bramble.
“Today, when a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, those remains are treated as medical waste and thrown out as so much refuse,” Bramble told the Salt Lake Tribune.
The new law would not force a woman to have a funeral or be responsible for the burial — though they would be given the choice to do so. If a woman does not want the responsibility, requirements for how the remains are disposed of would fall upon the abortion provider.
Democrats and abortion advocates have argued that the bill would make abortions more difficult and traumatic for women.
“I still struggle with that document being put in front of a mom, a woman, at that point,” Democrat Sen. Luz Escamilla said. “I think that’s where I can’t support the bill as is.”
Deanna Holland, the vice president of Pro-Life Utah, argued that when she had a miscarriage it did not occur to her that the baby would be thrown out with medical waste until it was too late.
“[My doctor] removed my baby, which had been stuck in the birth canal, and disposed of my baby with the medical waste,” Holland said, according to a report from KUER. “I was actually so distressed that it was a few hours before I realized that my child had been disposed of in this manner. By that time there was nothing I could do.”
The bill passed 4-2, along party lines.