Starting December 19, aborted fetuses in Texas will have to be buried or cremated, instead of being treated as medical waste.

Rule 1.136 was initially suggested by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, and it forces abortion clinics to immediately bury or incinerate the fetuses just after the procedure has taken place. The ashes of the incinerated fetus should then be buried or scattered. Before the ruling, abortion clinics could dispose fetuses in sanitary dumpsters specifically designated for medical waste.

“43 states prohibit abortions, generally except when necessary to protect the woman’s life or health, after a specified point in pregnancy, most often fetal viability,” said the Guttmacher Institute. Image credit:

Funeral processes for unborn children

Burying or cremating a fetus shows a compliance into believing that the unborn baby is a human being. Burials and cremations are processes that act upon the spirituality of the beholders and they cause no difference on the primary objective of the procedure, which is to dispose of the fetus.

According to Abbott, burying or cremating the fetus would serve as a reminder to “reflect our respect for the sanctity of life.” The ruling was proposed just after Texas lost a Supreme Court case where half of the state’s abortion clinics would have to submit themselves to strict structural upgrades. It also determined that abortion doctors would have to possess special credentials to work in specific hospitals, with the objective of increasing procedure safety and reducing the health risks sustained by the patient.

The case lost 5 to 3, which would’ve forced women living in remote areas of Texas to cross state borders to get an abortion, as they would be forced to attend an abortion clinic located in a Texas metropolitan district.

“We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes,” ruled Justice Stephen Breyer, arguing that the ruling only served as an obstacle for women to undergo their rightful procedure.

Miscarriages are also expected to be cremated or buried, although miscarriages that have occurred outside a medical facility will be excluded. The catch is that the cremation process may cost up to $10,000 per session, a price that must be paid by the abortion clinic, draining some of its funds and placing an unnecessary burden on the disposal of something that —until a couple of weeks ago— was seen as medical waste.

Pro-choice activists have criticized the ruling, arguing that people from Texas have already opposed any obstacle to undermine the processes that involve having an abortion within the state.

On the other hand, pro-life organizations have thanked state agencies for implementing the ruling, as they believe that the new policies will help to change the perspective of how a human fetus should be treated.

“These unborn children are going to be treated with dignity and respect by being buried or cremated rather than being thrown into a landfill,” stated Nicole Hudgens from pro-life group Texas Values.

Other pro-life advocates have warned that this is just the first of a series of measures to be imposed on state legislation, even when the Supreme Court and the people of Texas have demonstrated a significant support for the right of women to have an abortion if they choose to do so.

Source: Texas Register