A Pennsylvania lawmaker described a miscarried baby as “a mess on a napkin” Tuesday in response to a bill requiring the dignified disposal of aborted and miscarried babies.
State Rep. Wendy Ullman, a pro-abortion Democrat representing the Bucks County area, made the insensitive comment before the Pennsylvania House Health Committee passed House Bill 1890 in a 15-10 party-line vote.
The bill would require health care facilities to bury or cremate the remains of unborn babies who died in abortions or miscarriages. It does not require burial/cremation for babies miscarried at home.
“An early miscarriage is just some mess on a napkin,” Ullman said, according to a video of the meeting shared by the Pennsylvania Family Council.
Ullman implied that miscarried and aborted babies are not valuable enough to be buried or cremated, saying, “And I’m not sure people would agree that this is something that we want to take to the point of ritual, either cremation or interment.” She was endorsed by Planned Parenthood during her election campaign, and she voted against the bill.
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State Rep. Aaron Bernstine, a pro-life Republican from Beaver County who supports the bill, expressed outrage on Twitter after hearing Ullman’s comments.
“One of my colleagues just said a miscarriage is a ‘mess on a napkin.’ I literally can’t believe this is actually happening …” Bernstine wrote.
He told LifeNews that the bill is common-sense legislation that gives parents the opportunity to provide a dignified disposition for their unborn child. He said opposition to it exposes the “radicalism” of the pro-abortion agenda.
“It’s disappointing for a group of people who call themselves pro-choice to take the decision away from parents what to do with their deceased baby,” Bernstine said.
Tom Shaheen, vice president for policy for Pennsylvania Family Institute, called Ullman’s comments “callous” and “heartless” toward families who have lost a child.
“A miscarriage, no matter how early, does not result in a ‘mess on a napkin’ but the loss of a child,” Shaheen said. “Each human life deserves respect, even when lost at an early stage in development.”
The pro-life organization thanked committee Chairwoman Kathy Rapp (R-Warren), lead sponsor Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) and all of the lawmakers who supported it.
“The remains of human beings should be treated better than medical waste. Rep. Frank Ryan’s bill is a compassionate effort to help offer some closure to many mothers and families in Pennsylvania,” Shaheen added.
Ryan also expressed thanks to the committee for supporting the dignified disposition of babies’ remains.
“It brought back so many painful memories of the three children that we lost,” he wrote on Twitter after the vote.
Similar legislation has passed in other parts of the country. In 2016, Indiana passed a law under then-Gov. Mike Pence to help ensure that aborted babies’ remains are properly disposed of and not sold. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law earlier this year. Texas leaders are fighting to defend a similar burial law in court in their state.