Judge: Texas Can’t Enforce ‘Fetal Remains’ Rules—For Now

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Judge: Texas Can’t Enforce ‘Fetal Remains’ Rules—For Now

Teddy Wilson

“We are pleased that the court has prevented these outrageous restrictions from going into effect in Texas, where they would have created immediate and dangerous new barriers on women’s access to health care,” said David Brown, senior staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that Texas must delay implementation of new rules that require cremation or burial of “fetal remains” until January 6, reported the Associated Press.

The rule was originally set to take effect December 19.

Judge Sam Sparks issued a temporary restraining order preventing the state from implementing the rules, and scheduled a preliminary injunction hearing beginning January 3.

The Center for Reproductive Rights on Monday filed a lawsuit requesting that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas block the state from implementing regulations that force the burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue that results from abortions, miscarriages, or ectopic pregnancy surgery.

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“We are pleased that the court has prevented these outrageous restrictions from going into effect in Texas, where they would have created immediate and dangerous new barriers on women’s access to health care,” David Brown, senior staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.

The Center for Reproductive Rights promised to take legal action when the rules were first proposed.

Under the proposed rules, any other tissue, “including placenta, umbilical cord and gestational sac,” could be disposed of through “grinding and discharging to a sanitary sewer system; incineration followed by deposition of the residue in a sanitary landfill.”

The Republican-backed rule could add up to $2,000 to the cost of abortion care, according to the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Texas.

“We’re confident that our recent victory at the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt gives us strong ground to stand as we continue to fight these coerced mandates from overzealous politicians that strip personal decisions away from women and families,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO for Whole Woman’s Health, said in a statement.