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Utah Senate bill proposes having women choose what to do with remains after abortion or miscarriage

Utah Senate bill proposes having women choose what to do with remains after abortion or miscarriage
Posted at 3:24 PM, Feb 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-01 17:24:46-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Should women be forced to decide what happens to the remains of their miscarriage or abortion? That's at the center of a highly-controversial bill debated Friday by the Utah Senate.

Lawmakers argue it's a woman's right to choose. Others say it's adding more trauma. But they all agree it's an emotional conversation.

Emotional testimony in front of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services Friday afternoon. Sen. Curtis Bramble arguing SB67 is all about a woman's right to choose what should happen to the remains after she has an abortion or miscarriage.

The bill would require a health care facility to ask women what to do — cremation or interment.

In the case of an abortion, a woman must read this note before the procedure:

"You have the right to decide what you would like to do with the aborted fetus. You may decide for the provider to be responsible for disposition of the fetus. If you are having a medication-induced abortion, you have the right to bring the aborted fetus back to the provider for disposition after the fetus is expelled. The provider may dispose of the aborted fetus by burial or cremation. You can ask the provider if you want to know the specific method for disposition."

Then, the abortion will be put on her health record. If a woman suffers a miscarriage, she would read a different note, but the miscarriage would not be required on her medical records.

A representative of pathologists in Utah opposes the proposed mandate, arguing many hospitals already have respectable policies in place and women already have the right to choose, if their doctors tell them or not.