Utah Advances Bill to Stop Abortion Clinics From Throwing Away Aborted Babies With Medical Waste

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 4, 2020   |   1:30PM   |   Salt Lake City, UT

A Utah Senate committee advanced a bill Friday to ensure that abortion facilities are properly disposing of aborted babies and not throwing them out with medical waste or selling them.

The Standard-Examiner reports the Senate Health and Human Services voted 4-2 in favor of an updated version of Senate Bill 67, sponsored by state Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo.

The legislation would require medical and abortion facilities to bury or cremate the remains of aborted and miscarried babies. It also would require facilities to give women information about the disposal of their babies and notify them of their right to determine their babies’ final disposition.

“I would hope it makes a person choosing to have an abortion reflect on that they’re disposing of a human being, that this is not just medical waste,” Bramble said, previously. “These are human beings. A child in the womb is still a child and those remains should be treated with dignity.”

The updated bill expands the time limits for the babies’ disposition and requires that women be informed of the burial choices through a written statement, rather than just orally, the report states. It also prohibits facilities from cremating “fetal remains with other biological, infectious, or pathological waste.”

Bramble said his bill gives women a choice, and ensures medical facilities treat babies’ remains with dignity and respect.

Prior to the vote, a Utah mother spoke up in favor of the legislation. Alicia Alba described her heartbreak in 2014 after miscarrying a baby, according to the local news. She said she felt “haunted by the realization that my baby had likely been disposed of as medical waste.”

“There is no denying the humanity of the unborn after you have seen them face-to-face,” Alba told the lawmakers. “A person is truly a person, no matter how small.”

However, another Utah mother Liz Miller, who also lost two babies to miscarriage, said she thinks the bill would add to the pain of losing a child, the report continues.

“I cannot fathom the enormous insult to an already unbearable trauma by forcing a discussion regarding disposal would cause,” Miller said.

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Here’s more from the report:

Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay, who voted against advancing SB 67 alongside Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, read a letter addressed to the committee written by Howard Sharp, a Utah-based obstetrician/gynecologist, who said it would be “extremely inappropriate to address the issue of whether they desired a cremation or burial if it was not requested by the person having the miscarriage.”

“My patients having a miscarriage or abortion want the space and freedom to make medical decisions that align with (the) vision of their family and their faith informed by counsel from their physician,” wrote Sharp.

Bramble’s bill is similar to Indiana legislation that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2019. The court ruled that requiring a proper burial for aborted babies is not an undue burden on women’s access to abortion.

The Pennsylvania House approved a similar bill in 2019, but pro-abortion Gov. Tom Wolf threatened to veto it. The bill drew national attention after state Rep. Wendy Ullman, a pro-abortion Democrat who opposed the legislation, described a miscarried baby as “just some mess on a napkin.”

Texas leaders are fighting to defend a similar burial law in court in their state.

At the federal level, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun also recently introduced the Dignity for Aborted Children Act, which would require abortion facilities all across the country to bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies.

States are very limited in their ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade. The infamous ruling made America one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Since it was handed down in 1973, more than 61 million babies have been aborted.

While states fight to pass pro-life laws and defend them in court, these burial/cremation requirements at least provide dignity to aborted babies after their deaths. Such legislation also helps to ensure that abortion facilities are not profiting off the sales of aborted baby body parts. Additionally, it can help prevent situations like the recent gruesome discoveries in Indiana. Last fall, authorities found the remains of more than 2,400 unborn babies stored in the garage of the late abortionist Ulrich Klopfer.