Jun. 04, 2021

HARRISBURG - Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) is offering prayers for Montgomery County Commissioner Chairwoman Val Arkoosh after she mischaracterized his legislation to give parents who suffer miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or stillbirth the right to claim their child’s remains for proper cremation or burial at their own expense.

“The pain of the loss of a child for all moms and dads is undeniable and one of the most painful moments in a person’s life,” said Ryan. “Our society still does not understand the pain of those who suffer a loss of a child or the anxiety of infertility for the couples who so much are looking forward to having children.  

“When leaders mischaracterize efforts to bring comfort to those in pain, all I can offer is that we pray for that person who may be indirectly, and perhaps unknowingly, contributing to the pain of another,” Ryan said.

On several social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Arkoosh recently claimed that House Bill 118 would fine women who miscarry and require them to fill out a fetal death certificate. Neither of these claims is true.

“It is sad that a public figure, let alone a physician, would mischaracterize my bill in this manner and mislead the public about its purpose,” said Ryan. “House Bill 118, which is similar to an Indiana law deemed constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, would give grieving parents a choice. It does not require them to act, and it certainly does not require action that would further traumatize them. To say that it does is deeply troubling.

“More than 40-years ago, my family suffered the loss of a child to miscarriage mid-term in the pregnancy. Our devastation was made worse by the fact that we were unable to claim our son’s remains and give him the dignity of a proper burial. Under current law, these unborn children are disposed of without offering the parents a choice. My bill would offer that choice and help bring closure and peace to those who experience the loss of an unborn child. 

“I am amazed at the level of vitriol I have experienced over this bill by those attempting to derail it, but I cannot stand idly by, knowing people are suffering the loss of children and have no recourse,” said Ryan. “I ask for prayers for those who may be adding to the pain and suffering of those who have lost a child, and I am hopeful that is not their intent.” 

House Bill 118 is now under consideration in the House. To view the bill, click here.

Representative Frank Ryan
101st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Donna Pinkham
RepFrankRyan.com / Facebook.com/RepFrankRyan