Frankel denounces passage of invasive anti-choice legislation

Bill would redefine concept of life, hurt families during vulnerable time

HARRISBURG, Nov. 18 – As anti-choice legislation advanced in both the Pennsylvania Senate and House on Monday, state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Democratic chairman of the House Health Committee, reiterated his objection to the legislation and vowed to continue to fight for women’s and families’ reproductive rights.

“This bill would hurt families during a vulnerable time and seeks to use that vulnerability to push anti-abortion politics under the guise of compassion,” Frankel said. “Whether families choose to end a pregnancy, or their plans for a baby are abruptly taken from them in a miscarriage, this bill would narrow patients’ options and enforce a nonmedical directive that they must mark the event with a ritual burial and death certificate.”

Current law doesn’t prevent a woman who suffered a miscarriage or a still birth from seeking out burial services or a death certificate. In fact, those steps are already required for miscarriages after 16 weeks. However, H.B. 1890 would force families to obtain a death certificate and contract with a funeral home for ritual disposal, even for a fertilized egg, and would redefine the very concept of life, opening the door to further legislation criminalizing reproductive health care.

“This bill would redefine human life to align with the religious beliefs of some people, and it would set the stage for a whole new realm of ways to control and punish women through our legal system,” Frankel said. “It would force families, some of whom are making their way through very real grief, to travel a narrow path set by the people in this room, rather than their own hearts.”