Bill on handling fetal remains passes Pa. House

Tony Romeo
November 19, 2019 - 9:39 am
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The state House has sent the Senate a controversial bill to create requirements for handling fetal remains. 

The bill would require health care facilities to provide the burial or cremation of fetal remains in their possession. Supporters say it is modeled after an Indiana law declared constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

State House Republican Frank Ryan sponsored the bill based on his own experience of asking for fetal remains following the loss of an unborn child.

“By the time we had done that, the remains had been disposed of,” he recalled.

But Democrat Dan Frankel calls the measure a “covert” abortion bill that is trying to redefine life.

“It would be the first time ever that a fertilized egg would legally be characterized as a person,” he argued.

The legislation says parents can decide to dispose of the remains outside a health care facility after an abortion or miscarriage. If they don't, the facility must bury or cremate them.

The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.