Lydia O'Malley | Contributing Writer | Friday, 16 December 2016

Texas Judge Temporarily Blocks Foetal Burial Rule

Texas Judge Temporarily Blocks Foetal Burial Rule

The Debrief: The controversial law has been blocked until 6th January

One of Texas’ anti-abortion rules, which requires hospitals to bury or cremate foetal remains following abortions or miscarriages, has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge. 

Earlier this week the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit claiming the rule uses similar tactics to what the U.S. Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional in Whole Woman’s Health. Hellerstedt last summer. The lawsuit stated it ‘does nothing to improve public health or safety, as The Department of State Health Services alleges; rather, it is a pretext for restricting abortion access’. They also argued it would decrease access to abortion by driving up the cost.

The rule was set to go into effect on December 19th, despite criticism. Currently abortion or miscarriage remains are treated as other medical waste. However, the rule will mean remains will instead be buried or cremated, regardless of the development of the foetus or the woman’s wishes.

U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks blocked the rule on Thursday, pending testimony and his ultimate ruling which is set for January 6th. So, in a brief reprieve, over the next three weeks Texas women who have abortions or miscarriages in medical facilities will not have to go through with the rules guidelines. 

Services Commission has said it will not apply to miscarriages and medication abortions that take place at home.

 

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Tags: Abortion, USA