Is Texas really trying to shame women? Check out this story from Quorum Report, reprinted here with permission, for a good tutorial on the issue.Abortion advocates file suit to block fetal burial rule in Texas (published by Quorum Report, December 12, 2016)
Chairman Cook fires back that this neither about abortion access nor a reaction to the SCOTUS ruling on HB 2
Abortion providers have filed suit to oppose newly adopted rules requiring the cremation or burial of the remains of aborted fetuses, which they allege is a ploy to put the cost of abortion procedures out of reach of many Texas women.
Gov. Greg Abbott has taken credit for the creation of the rule and has done his share of fundraising on it. It’s set to take effect Dec. 19. Abbott, a practicing Roman Catholic, said the rules are intended to respect the sanctity of life rather than treat aborted fetuses like other medical waste.
Abbott directed the change after the office of Texas House State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, sent letters back in May to the Health and Human Services Commission asking for new rule. That was prior to the United States Supreme Court ruling that struck down portions of House Bill 2, the most sweeping anti-abortion measure adopted by Texas to date.
Chairman Cook has also pre-filed a bill along the same lines, including a penalty for non-compliant clinics.
On a conference call with reporters, Nancy Northrup of the Center for Reproductive Rights called the fetal burial rules another round in the fight to maintain safe, legal, affordable abortions in Texas.
“These regulations are an insult to Texas women, the rule of law and the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared less than six months ago that medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion access are unconstitutional,” Northrup said. “These insidious regulations are a new low in Texas' long history of denying women the respect that they deserve to make their own decision about their lives and their healthcare.”
The case, filed in U.S. District Court in Austin, makes a number of claims in its initial filing. Plaintiffs argue the requirement is an inconvenient burden on the woman and the abortion provider, it would add cost to the abortion procedure, the requirement was based on a pretext of public health but was intended to restrict abortion access, and it amended a section of code that had never previously applied to the disposal of a fetus.
The Center for Reproductive Rights wants a declaratory judgment that the regulation is both unconstitutional and unenforceable. Meantime, some activists are urging women to send used feminine products to Gov. Abbott’s office in protest.
When Texas passes related to abortion, it is usually not the first state to