Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Will Veto Bill Requiring Burial for Babies Killed in Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 12, 2019   |   8:28PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf continues to be a roadblock to pro-life legislation, including bills that do not restrict abortions in any way but recognize the value of unborn babies.

In November, the state House passed a bill that would require health care facilities to bury or cremate the remains of unborn babies who died in abortions or miscarriages or give parents the option of burying their baby themselves. It does not require burial/cremation for babies miscarried at home. State House Bill 1890, sponsored by Rep. Frank Ryan, R-Lebanon, now is awaiting action in a state Senate committee.

However, Wolf, a pro-abortion Democrat who used to volunteer at Planned Parenthood, said he would veto the bill if it reaches his desk, The York Daily Record reports.

“The only thing that has been standing in the way of” pro-life legislation in Pennsylvania is Wolf, the report noted.

Ryan said he wrote the bill to give grieving parents the opportunity to provide a dignified burial for their child. He said he and his wife lost their first baby to miscarriage, and their baby’s body was disposed of without their knowledge.

“We wanted to craft something that was voluntary, that provided the family with the ability for closure, the ability to understand that a human life was lost, their life, that they’d been striving for for so long,” Ryan said. It’s “strictly voluntary for women.”

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Here’s more from the report:

Ryan told a personal story when he introduced the legislation, explaining that he was upset when his wife had a miscarriage in the 1970s because the hospital disposed of the fetal remains without asking him.

“I still want to know where he is, and I don’t know that,” he said.

Ryan said he wants to help people get closure and heal, not hurt them.

But one of Wolf’s closest allies and biggest campaign contributors, Planned Parenthood, is vehemently opposed to the bill.

The abortion chain blasted the legislation as an attempt to “harass health-care providers as well as shame women seeking abortions,” according to the report.

On Tuesday, Wolf reiterated his support of abortion, writing on Twitter: “I will block any attempt to limit women’s rights. I’ll do everything I can to protect Roe v. Wade. I’ll veto any anti-choice bill that lands on my desk.”

Just a few weeks ago, Wolf vetoed a bill to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome from discrimination. In 2017, he also vetoed a bill that would have protected nearly fully formed unborn babies from dismemberment abortions.

Pro-abortion Democrats have been attacking Ryan’s legislation by claiming it is just another attempt to restrict abortions. During a committee hearing in October, state Rep. Wendy Ullman drew widespread outrage when she described a miscarried baby as “just some mess on a napkin.” Ullman is a pro-abortion Democrat who was endorsed by Planned Parenthood. She opposed the bill when it passed the House.

Similar legislation is in effect 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 buried or cremated, 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.

ACTION: Contact Pennsylvania state lawmakers and ask them to support HB 1890.