Texas Will Now Force Hospitals and Women to Bury or Cremate Fetuses from Abortions

by Walter Einenkel –


\What do you get when you add Texas and a Republican and Governor Greg Abbott? One of the worst laws surrounding women’s right to choose, or in some cases not be able to choose, what they do with their bodies.

The rules, which go into effect on Dec. 19, mandate that aborted fetal tissue must be buried regardless of how long it has been gestating. The rules state it can either be buried directly after an abortion has been performed or it can be buried or scattered after it has been incinerated. Fetal remains can also be steam disinfected before burial, according to the guideline.

This is step one in Gov. Abbott’s war on women. Step two will be his cutting of funding to Planned Parenthood—for which his grandstanding has made him beaucoup dollars. Abbott has said that fetal remains should not be treated like “medical waste,” and this reframing of things has helped him draw sad pictures for misguided forced-birther types.

But the new requirement prompted outrage from the reproductive rights community, which accused state leaders of pushing unnecessary regulations. Women who experienced miscarriages or lost children in utero questioned why the state would make their situations more difficult by enacting the requirements. And medical providers — including the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association — had also raised concerns about who would bear the costs associated with cremation or burial — a figure that can reach several thousand dollars in each case. 

In response to those concerns, health officials indicated that health care facilities — and not patients — will be responsible for the disposal of fetal remains and that related costs would be “offset by the elimination of some current methods of disposition.” Officials also wrote that the rules “carry out the department’s duty to protect public health in a manner that’s consonant with the state’s respect for life and dignity of the unborn.”

As Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights points out, this new law, not unlike other stupid and pointless anti-women laws, is pretty clearly unconstitutional.

“Just five months ago the U.S. Supreme Court struck down two Texas sham laws and declared that medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion access are unconstitutional,” she said. “Texas politicians have now responded with one of the most blatantly pointless and insulting restrictions yet.”

To all of those white women voting for Trump and other Republicans, remember this—they really don’t like you very much.


printed with permission from Daily Kos