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Utah legislature passes fetal remains bill

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Posted at 7:50 AM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-07 09:50:03-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Legislature has given final approval to a bill that requires the remains of an aborted or miscarried fetus be buried or cremated.

After negotiations between the House and Senate over the bill, lawmakers scrapped an amendment to allow hospitals to dispose of miscarried remains as medical waste (while women who have an abortion would not be given that option).

Critics of Senate Bill 67 have called it part of a campaign of anti-abortion legislation in Utah.

"Instead of intrusive mandates that threaten access to health care, lawmakers need to focus on respecting personal medical decisions and pass laws that actually support women, children, and families," Karrie Galloway, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, said in a statement when the bill was introduced last month.

Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, the bill's sponsor, said in a statement on Friday that the bill provides women with more options.

“I am pleased that women and parents will now have the option to choose if they wish to bury or cremate their baby in the event of a miscarriage or abortion. I am pleased that fetal remains—like other human remains—will be treated with more dignity. This is not only better for pregnant women who lose children. This is better for our society.”

The bill now goes to Governor Gary Herbert for his signature or veto.