Protesters on both sides of the issue face off in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is argued inside, March 2, 2016. The case is focused on Texas law HB2, which if enforced would result in the closure of more than 75 percent of all women’s health clinics that provide abortion services in the state. Allison Shelley for The Texas Tribune
A federal judge has delayed Texas’ fetal remains burial rule until Jan. 6.
Judge Sam Sparks ruled Thursday afternoon that the Texas Department of State Health Services would have to push back its start date for requiring health providers to bury or cremate aborted fetuses. The agency had originally slated the rule to begin Dec. 19.
Under the rule, Texas health providers are forbidden from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, regardless of gestation period.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO for Whole Woman’s Health, the main plaintiff in the case, said in a news release that the court’s decision reaffirms what the organization has always said: “women deserve better.”
“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,” Miller said.
Earlier this week, Marc Rylander, a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, said the rules “simply provide for the humane disposal of fetal tissue instead of sending it to landfills like unwanted trash, as is the abortion industry’s current practice.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Read more on the fetal remains rule:
- The Center for Reproductive Rights, which had pledged in August to take legal action if the new fetal remains rules were adopted, followed through this week.
- New Texas regulations requiring cremation or burial of fetal remains will probably be more expensive than state health officials predict, funeral directors say.
Author: MARISSA EVANS – Texas Tribune