US Abortion News: Texas Rule Requiring Fetal Remains To Be Buried, Cremated Blocked By Federal Judge

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald January 28, 05:35 am
The body of a 28-week-old baby is dispalyed at the 'Body Worlds: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Humans Bodies' show at the California Science Center on July 7, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. Fetal remains are required to be buried or cremated in Texas but the law was recently blocked until further notice.
(Photo : David McNew/Getty Images)

Texas proposed an anti-abortion bill last year about the requirement that abortion clinics and hospitals have to comply with. That requirement is the burial or the cremation of fetal remains but the bill was recently blocked by a federal judge.

Austin-based United States District Judge Sam Sparks said the health department regulations will remain blocked and not enforceable until further notice. A trial date will be set in the next weeks.

ABC News reported that as of current, hospitals and abortion clinics dispose feta remains from abortions or miscarriages as biological medical waste. The remains are usually burned then placed in the sanitary landfills. 

The new law, which was supposed to take effect last December, will no longer allow that practice. Abortion clinics and hospitals are therefore burdened with the responsibility to bury or cremate the fetal remains.The law aimed at abortions or miscarriages done in abortion clinics and hospitals but did not cover those that took place inside homes.

Advocacy groups contested against the law and Sparks issued several restraining orders after the groups claimed it was unconstitutional. A testimony for two days took place before the suspension of the measure, AL.com reported.

Texas is expected to appeal the injunction via asking a higher court to allow the law to be implemented while awaiting trial over the unconstitutional claim. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton did not exactly say when they plan to appeal but noted that the state chose to dignify the life of the unborn by requiting the humane disposal of the fetal remains.

The same laws in Louisiana and Indiana were blocked by federal courts. In a statement by Nancy Northup, the president and the CEO of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, such anti-abortion laws are unnecessary, unconstitutional and insulting to women.

The law in Texas was first proposed in July 2015. This came in the heels of 30 abortion clinics being closed down since 2012. Texas now has 10 abortion clinics still operating.

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