A Pennsylvania lawmaker has been criticized for insensitive remarks in relation to the trauma women go through after a miscarriage. Rep. Wendy Ullman had been discussing House Bill 1890, which would require abortion facilities or health care clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains instead of throwing them in the trash like medical waste. Ullman was opposed to the bill, and her argument against it was seen by many as dismissive towards the grief women often experience after a miscarriage.
During a House Health Committee meeting, Ullman critically noted that the bill referred to the “product of conception after fertilization, which covers a lot of territory.” Ullman continued, saying:
I think we all understand the concept of the loss of a fetus, but we’re also talking about a woman who comes into a facility and is having cramps and — not to be, not to be, concrete — an early miscarriage is just some mess on a napkin. 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 internment.
Women who have mourned the loss of a child through miscarriage were quick to respond, sharing personal stories of devastation and pain. Ullman apologized, claiming that she “chose her words poorly.” She insisted the “issue is intensely important to [her],” and that was the reason why she had “struggled for words.”
Ullman’s language is similar to the dehumanizing words often used by abortion clinics to mislead women about the procedure, dehumanizing the unborn with phrases such as “blob of tissue” or “product of conception.” These facilities also cannot be trusted to dispose of fetal remains in a dignified manner. The remains of aborted children were found in a Detroit sewer system after a clinic had tossed them into a garbage disposal.
The bodies of aborted babies are not pieces of garbage to be disposed of like trash, and should be treated with dignity.