Penn. GOP lawmakers pass bill that fines women for miscarriages
A bill may have passed but Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf says that he will veto any anti-choice legislation that comes to his desk
Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania have voted to fine women who miscarry and force them to fill out a traumatic Fetal Death Certificate form.
The state’s House Health Committee passed three “pro-life” bills on May 25: the Heartbeat Bill (House Bill 904), the Unborn Child Dignity Act (House Bill 118), and the Down Syndrome Protection Act (House Bill 1500), Daily Kos reports. The Heartbeat Bill prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The new law would require a physician to “confirm whether a fetal heartbeat is present before an abortion, despite how far along the pregnancy is,” the outlet writes. Under the Down Syndrome Protection Act, abortions would be illegal after a pregnant woman receives a Down syndrome diagnosis.
“We shouldn’t allow them to be discriminated against,” Rep. Kate Klunk said. “Children with Down syndrome, they lead amazing lives. They are contributing in so many ways, but they need the chance at life to be able to do that.”
The third bill, the Unborn Child Dignity Act, requires women to fill out a mandatory Fetal Death Certificate after a miscarriage. Healthcare facilities would be required to provide burial or cremation options after a pregnancy loss. The state also voted to charge women who would be required to use the form.
“Each of these pro-life bills helps to recognize the humanity of the unborn child,” said Alexis Stefani, communications and policy officer for Pennsylvania Family Institute.
Several Twitter users expressed their fury over this bill, with one user writing “No. Nope. No way. F— that s—. I’ve had a few miscarriages, my body had a hard time staying pregnant. There are many reasons a woman has a miscarriage. Are they going to look into each reason? Perhaps the sperm was sh–ty – fine the man and make him fill out a form.”
Another wrote, “They want more info on women miscarrying than they do on people buying guns. This should never pass.”
A third added, “This is the start of the criminalization of miscarriage. My mom had 13 miscarriages before she had me. This will kill women. It will discourage getting medical care and lead to septic incidents. It will lead to criminal investigations into “what did she do to cause this.”
Screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer said “If buckets of miscarriage blood were thrown into the faces of these PA legislators… it would not be enough.”
The three new bills intend to further restrict a woman’s access to abortions. None of the bills are “pro-life,” as they do not recognize the choice of the individual who is pregnant.
“Throughout my time as governor, I have fought hard against right-wing attempts to limit an individual’s right to make their own health care decisions, including by using my pen to veto every anti-choice bill the Pennsylvania General Assembly has passed,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said.
“Once again, members are working to pass anti-choice legislation that would undermine the doctor-patient relationship and limit an individual’s right to decide what happens to their body – including re-running appalling bills that I have vetoed in the past. I want to be clear: I stand firm in my commitment and support of reproductive rights,” said Wolf.
“While members of the legislature continue to play politics around health choices, I will not let the commonwealth go backwards on reproductive rights or access to health care. I will veto any anti-choice legislation that lands on my desk.”
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s “Dear Culture” podcast? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. Download theGrio.com today!