By Elaina Moradi – Moxie Intern
Texas state government is waiting for approval of a new regulation that would require facilities which provide abortions to pay for the burial or cremation of fetal remains.
The new law was almost passed earlier this month in Texas to “protect the dignity of the unborn,” while other states, including Arkansas, Louisiana and Indiana, have similar laws in place. Many argue such requirements are designed simply to make the abortion process harder that it already is for women.
“You are subjecting a lot of women to dealing with situations that is just making their grief process worse,” said Michael Land, a former president for the Texas Funeral Directors Association, in a New York Times interview.
The new regulations, which would also apply to miscarriages, had been approved and supported by Gov. Greg Abbott to take effect on December 19, but U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks blocked the rule from going into effect.
A number of women’s rights groups are taking advantage of the delay in ruling to fight the pending regulations.
The Center of Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas to stop the forced burial or cremation of aborted fetal remains.
The group argued the new regulations go against the Supreme Court ruling, which states such restrictions cannot impose burdens on a woman’s right to access abortion care without providing any medical benefit.
Medical organizations and legal experts also object to the new Texas law, saying the regulations “offer no health or public safety benefit” and increase the “shame” surrounding abortion.
The ultimate ruling will be decided on January 6. Until then, any woman who has a miscarriage or abortion will not be forced to follow the cremation or burial law.