Pennsylvania Dem: A Miscarriage Is ‘Some Mess on a Napkin’

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A Pennsylvania state representative described an early miscarriage as "just some mess on a napkin" during a hearing on a bill concerning the disposal of fetal remains.

"An early miscarriage is just some mess on a napkin," state representative Wendy Ullman (D.) said earlier this week. "And I'm not sure people would agree that this is something that we want to take to the point of ritual, either cremation or interment."

She also described the bill as referring "to the product of conception after fertilization, which covers an awful lot of territory."

The state legislature was debating H.B. 1890, the Final Disposition of Fetal Remains Act, which would require the caring for and disposal of fetal remains through cremation or interment.

A memo on the bill says it is similar to Indiana legislation that also required fetal remains to be cremated or buried. Then-governor Mike Pence (R.) signed that bill into law in 2016, and the Supreme Court upheld the fetal-remains section in May 2019.

Pennsylvania state lawmakers have also introduced a "heartbeat bill," which would ban abortions at the point that a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The proposed legislation echoes pro-life laws passed in several other states. However, many of those laws have been stayed by courts pending ongoing litigation.

Earlier this week, Pennsylvania state representative Brian Sims (D.) also apologized for harassing pro-life demonstrators outside of a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood. He was facing censure by his fellow state lawmakers.