Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

State appeals injunction of “fetal remains” rule

Here we go.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to overturn an Austin judge’s ruling that blocked the state from enforcing a rule requiring fetal tissue to be buried or cremated.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled in January that the regulation was vaguely worded, placing abortion clinics at risk of arbitrary enforcement from hostile state agencies, and appeared to be a pretext for restricting abortion access because it provided no health benefits and replaced tissue-disposal regulations that caused no health problems.

Paxton defended the rule, saying it required abortion clinics, hospitals and health centers to treat fetal remains — whether from an abortion or miscarriage — with dignity, replacing regulations that allowed fetal tissue to be incinerated and sent to a sanitary landfill.

Similar restrictions were included in legislation approved last week by the Texas House and Senate. Abortion rights advocates have indicated that they intend to challenge that regulation in court as well.

In briefs filed Tuesday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Paxton argued that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that states can adopt regulations expressing “profound respect for the life of the unborn” as long as the rules do not create a substantial burden women seeking an abortion.

See here for the background. As the story notes, the same rule was included as a piece of the unconstitutional anti-abortion bill passed late in the session. You can be sure there will be litigation related to that as well. As far as this goes, the Fifth Circuit is trash, but the SCOTUS ruling on HB2 may have cooled their jets a bit. We’ll see what they do.

Related Posts:

Comments are closed.