Pennsylvania Bill on Fetal Remains to Increase Healthcare Expenses

Pennsylvania bill

After Ohio, Pennsylvania has become the second state to have passed a bill that seemed absurd to the Democratic leaders.

The new Pennsylvania bill has crossed Ohio’s lethal anti-abortion bill that would have required OB/GYNs to perform a non-existent operation to implant fertilized eggs from ectopic pregnancies in women’s uteruses, on penalty of prison time.

Pennsylvania bill would require health care facilities to bury or cremate fetal remains after an abortion or miscarriage if they are not claimed by a parent for disposition.

In the bill text, the term “fetal death” is defined as “expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception which shows no evidence of life after the expulsion or extraction.” Some have stated that the bill would apply to fertilized eggs that are not yet a fetus, including frozen fertilized eggs from IVF.

In September, a group of Republican lawmakers introduced the House bill 1890, which after an impassioned debate was passed by the GOP-led state House in November.

The supporters of the bill said that it would give the parents a greater say in the disposal of remains, while the opponents of the bill argued that it would harass abortion facilities, which have already suffered amid the wave of abortion ban protests.

The Pennsylvania bill also known as Final Disposition of Fetal Remains Act is now in consideration in the state Senate. 

The bill states, “Upon the fetal death of an unborn child, if a parent of the unborn child selects a location for the final disposition of the fetal remains other than a location that is usual and customary for a health care facility, the parent shall be responsible for the costs relating to the final disposition of the fetal remains.”

Since the Pennsylvania bill was brought in by the Republican lawmakers, the Democratic legislators have come out against the legislation.

The Republicans have called the bill as helpful, saying that it would provide the family with the ability to understand that a human life that they’d been striving for so long was lost and they would still have the right to determine the resting place of their child’s remains, while the Democrats criticized the bill, stating that it presents a “mandate, not a choice”.

The opposition added that if the bill becomes a law it would simply burden the medical providers to properly dispose of the remains, unless the mother states that she would dispose them off on her own, or face fines ranging from $50-300 or up to 30 days in prison.

State Rep. Dan Frankel (D) stated that the bill would hurt families during a vulnerable time.

While the Pennsylvania bill does not state the need for a death certificate for a fetus or un-implanted egg, it mandates a burial permit, which itself requires a death certificate. It appears that the bill has unnecessarily added funeral expenses, besides being a dangerous step in restricting abortion in the US state.

The bill is deemed to change the state law of what would happen after miscarriages and abortions, and would impose mandates on the religious beliefs of the people, bringing in chaos and disruption as people often tend to follow their own rituals rather than the state laws.

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