New Abortion Law in Texas Requires Burial or Cremation of Fetal Remains

New fetal disposal rules to take effect for Texas abortions

Despite objections from abortion rights advocates Texas will require the cremation or burial of fetal remains as of December 19th.

The Texas Tribune reports that the final rules were passed on Monday with minimal changes to how they were initially proposed.

Opponents of the rule change argue that the burial requirement is an unnecessary intrusion on patient privacy.

Reproductive rights advocates have told ABC News that the new rules will likely deter women from getting an abortion and will increase health-care costs dramatically, as the health-care facilities pass on higher costs of disposing of fetal tissue.

John Seago, Legislative Director of Texas Right To Life, previously told LifeNews that the rules are strong attempt to restore the dignity to the victims of abortion. Critics, including NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, said that the new rules "serve no medical benefit and do nothing but impose an undue burden on Texans seeking abortion care".

The efforts are also a shot across the bow to show the groups' determination to continue fighting for abortion rights even as they face the possibility that incoming Republican President Donald Trump may work with the Republican-dominated Congress to try to further restrict abortion.

According to the Legislature's website, House Bill 201 - "relating to disposition of fetal remains by a health care facility" - was filed last month, and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops has already issued its support for the bill. Lawyers aligned with the Center for Reproductive Rights composed a letter admonishing that these regulations "will nearly certainly trigger costly litigation".

Costs of fetal burial or cremation are expected to be offset by "costs now being spent by facilities on disposition for transportation, storage, incineration, steam disinfection and/or landfill desposal", according to a Department of State Health Services spokeswoman quoted by the Washington Post. Requiring mothers suffering a miscarriage at home to see to the burial of the remains of what they had been carrying in their wombs would have been beyond cruel.

Lawsuits challenge abortion restrictions in 3 states
The restrictions being challenged in Missouri are similar to those that the Supreme Court recently struck down in Texas. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, under which North Carolina falls, is "pretty solidly on the left".

Critics, however, said the rule is unconstitutional because it discourages women from getting an abortion. "Texas politicians are intent on interfering with it".

Proposed at the direction of Republican Gov.

Texas is the second state to implement a fetal burial law. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) said in a packed public hearing on the proposed rule in August, the Austin American-Statesman reported. "Life begins at conception".

Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants to shame women who have abortions.

Currently, fetal tissue, blood, organs and other body parts are allowed to be discarded, incinerated or ground, before being dumped in a sanitary landfill.

But while similar laws have fallen since the Court's decision in states like Wisconsin, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, many still remain in place and will require a specific legal challenge in order to be struck down in court.

"These unborn children are going to be treated with dignity and respect by being buried or cremated rather than being thrown into a landfill", Hudgens explain.



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