ALL NEWS

Utah bill requiring cremation after abortion, miscarriage advances

Feb 1, 2020, 7:13 PM | Updated: 7:13 pm
A Utah Senate committee voted 4-2 to advance a bill that would require aborted and miscarried fetal...
A Utah Senate committee voted 4-2 to advance a bill that would require aborted and miscarried fetal remains to be buried or cremated. (Kristin Murphy | KSL.com)
(Kristin Murphy | KSL.com)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Utah Senate committee voted in favor to advance a bill that would require women to bury or cremate the fetal remains after a miscarriage or abortion.

The bill was passed Friday with a 4-2 vote after an emotional debate.

“Today, when a woman has a miscarriage or an abortion, those remains are treated as medical waste and thrown out as so much refuse,” sponsor of SB67 Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, said.

The will would require hospitals and clinics to either cremate or bury the remains of the fetus. They also must offer the mothers the decision on how they’d like the remains to be disposed.

They can do this by filling out a form that lists the different options. If the mother chooses not to decide, Bramble said she could leave the form empty — allowing for the facility to make the final call.

The bill wouldn’t apply to those who miscarry at home.

While Bramble presented the bill to the Senate, he clarified parts of the legislature that had gotten twisted in the public eye.

“Every once in a while, you get a bill that gets misunderstood and things go viral,” Bramble said.

He said that some have incorrectly interpreted the bill to mean women are required to dispose of the remains themselves, which Bramble said isn’t true.

Some women present at the proposal who support the bill said the legislature would’ve saved them a lot of pain when they miscarried. However, critics say the decision would only increase the trauma of the mother.

Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay, said that during her own miscarriage, she would’ve been “traumatized with a piece of paper” and would’ve “been asking what are we burying.”

Other proponents say the thought of disposing their child haunted them, which is why they are in support of the bill. Not knowing what happens to the fetus after they leave the hospital room isn’t humane, they said.

“This is a human need,” she said. “This is a women’s rights issue, it’s a women’s health issue, and we need to respect that. It doesn’t hurt anyone to give them the option. It only helps if they can choose.”

Senators raised the question on who be would required to pay for the cremation and burials — the mothers or the hospitals and clinics.

Bramble said the Utah abortion bill, as written, does not impose that requirement on the woman, but doesn’t specify whether the clinics would attach the cost to the hospital bill.

According to the written legislation, the woman is only responsible for the cost if she chooses to cremate or bury at different location than the hospital she’s admitted to. It doesn’t require women to find out how the medical facility disposes of the remains.

If she decides how the fetus will be disposed, a record of it will go into her medical history, Bramble said.

“On a woman’s side of the equation, it gives her one more choice. It gives her the choice to do nothing, or it gives her the choice to say ‘I’d like to have the remains, whether it’s from abortion or miscarriage, I’d like to have these remains treated with dignity,’” Bramble said on Thursday.

Some opponents, like Rep. Jen Dailey-Provost, D-Salt Lake City, said the cost of the cremation or burial was directly related to accessibility. She added that the law dictates a woman should have access to an abortion.

The next day on Friday, Bramble presented a replacement bill that would allow the facility to accumulate multiple remains for up to 120 days, disposing of them at the same time to save money. This was a change from the original bill, which only allowed up to 10 days.

President of Pro-Life Utah Mary Taylor said this simultaneous cremation would eliminate the cost concern. With this 120-day window, calculations show it would cost $1.80 to cremate each fetus simultaneously with others.

Taylor added that for Utah’s post-abortive support group through Pro-Life, one of the biggest traumas is women dealing with the knowledge of what happened to their baby.

The abortion bill passed the Utah Senate vote, advancing to another hearing in the state legislative session that will continue Monday.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, talks about SB117, which he is sponsoring, during a Senate Judicia...
Devin Oldroyd

Two Republicans voted against bill banning transgender-related surgery, here’s why

The Utah Senate has approved a bill banning transgender-related surgery and puberty blockers for minors. A total of two Republicans voted against it.
23 hours ago
Rabbi Avremi Zippel talks to the crowd during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Viv...
Mark Jones

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Area rabbi shares his thoughts

Rabbi Avremi Zippel joined Inside Sources Friday to discuss International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
23 hours ago
A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates t...
Devin Oldroyd

New Utah law could extend in-state tuition to refugees & asylum seekers

A House panel is endorsing a new Utah law, H.B. 102, which extends resident college tuition rates to refugees and political asylum seekers.
23 hours ago
A traffic stop in Salt Lake City led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man who was in possession of il...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City traffic stop leads to drug bust, illegal gun recovered

Salt Lake City police say a traffic stop Thursday resulted in a 21-year-old man being arrested for being in possession of illegal drugs and a firearm.
23 hours ago
Video footage of a traffic stop that led to the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols shows "acts that def...
Travis Caldwell, Jay Croft, Eric Bradner and Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN

Memphis releases video showing police stop that led to Tyre Nichols’ death

Editor’s note: This article contains graphic descriptions of violence. (CNN) — The city of Memphis has released police body camera and surveillance video showing the January 7 traffic stop and violent police confrontation that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. During the initial encounter between Nichols and Memphis police, an officer can be seen […]
23 hours ago
File**People walk past the entrance to a Bed Bath & Beyond retail store along Sixth Avenue in N...
Paul R. La Monica and Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Bed Bath & Beyond says it can no longer pay its debts

The end could be near for struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, as it warned in a regulatory filing Thursday that it received a notice of default from its lender, JPMorgan Chase.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Utah bill requiring cremation after abortion, miscarriage advances