State lawmakers in Pennsylvania have put forth a bill in the legislature that would require medical providers to either bury or cremate the remains of fetuses that have been miscarried or aborted, per a report Saturday from The Hill.
The legislation – House Bill 1890 – has been named the Final Disposition of Fetal Remains Act and sets out to place the burden of cremating or burying the remains of said fetuses on medical providers should they not be claimed by the parents, per The Hill. The act, which was proposed primarily by Republican legislators, is now being considered by the state Senate after it passed last week in the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives.
While proponents of the bill claim that its passage would provide the family of the deceased fetus with “closure,” opponents in the state and nationwide – mainly Democrats – have claimed that the legislation is part of pattern of imposing restrictions on abortion providers.
Kamala Harris, a U.S. Senator from California and Democratic candidate for president, spoke out against the proposed legislation in a tweet on Saturday.
“These lawmakers need to take a lesson in biology before trying to pass laws that interfere with women’s decisions about their own bodies,” Harris said.
The law also says that if a parent of an unborn fetus selects a location for a burial or cremation other than one “usual and customary” for a health care facility, that the parents are responsible for bearing the cost of the burial or cremation, The Hill reported.
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In particular, many have taken issue with another portion of the bill that would require medical providers to create death certificates for all unused fertilized eggs.
“There’s no way to detect eggs that never implanted in the uterus,” Ameshia Cross, a Sinclair political analyst tweeted. “They dissolve and are passed with a woman’s monthly cycle. Why are folks who don’t understand basic science making decisions about women’s bodies?”
If passed, Pennsylvania would join a number of states who have recently passed laws putting new restrictions and regulations on abortion. For example, earlier this year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law legislation often called the “Heartbeat Bill,” which prohibits doctors from performing an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, per The Cincinnati Enquirer. The law, which has been challenged by several groups – including the ACLU – has been called one of the most restrictive abortion laws nationwide.
Ohio legislators recently proposed new controversial legislation that would require doctors to attempt to re-implant an ectopic pregnancy into a mother’s womb or face jail time. As The Inquisitr previously reported, no current medical procedure is known that would make the re-implantation of an ectopic pregnancy, a potentially fatal occurrence, possible.