Bill regulating fetal remains approved by Utah legislative panel

This article originally appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune. Read it in its entirety here.

A bill requiring health care providers to either bury or cremate the fetal remains of an abortion or miscarriage, and allowing mothers to choose between those options, earned committee approval on Friday.

Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 4-2 along partisan lines to advance SB67 to the full Senate.

Bill sponsor Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, said the bill is intended to ensure that fetal remains are treated with dignity and respect, and to provide additional options to women in the state.

“Today, when a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, those remains are treated as medical waste and thrown out as so much refuse,” he said.

Bramble began his presentation to committee members by criticizing media coverage of his bill, saying it had been misrepresented as forcing women to bury or cremate fetal remains. While it does regulate disposal of remains, he said, those requirements are placed on health care providers and not the women who experience a miscarriage or undergo an abortion.

“This bill does not require a woman to dispose of the remains of an aborted fetus,” he said.

But some lawmakers and members of the public objected to the bill, saying it could subject women to additional trauma by requiring them to consider and potentially sign off on disposal methods.

Katie Matheson, communications director for The Alliance for a Better Utah, told the story of her own miscarriage and said the requirements of Bramble’s bill would have made the experience more stressful.

“I’m grateful I didn’t have to have the conversations that this bill would require,” she said.

This article originally appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune. Read it in its entirety here.

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