New Texas rules requiring a dignified burial of aborted babies’ bodies will go into effect on Dec. 19, state health officials said this week.
The new rules, introduced in July by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, require that abortion facilities, hospitals and other medical centers either cremate or bury the remains of aborted and miscarried babies. State officials said the rules do not apply to miscarriages or abortions that take place at home.
The Washington Post reports the health commission finalized the rules on Monday. State health officials previously said the rules will bring about “enhanced protection of the health and safety of the public.”
The new rules are part of pro-life Gov. Greg Abbott’s L.I.F.E. Initiative, a four-point plan to increase life-affirming support, eliminate all taxpayer funding to abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and curb abortions in Texas.
Aborted babies’ bodies should not be “treated like medical waste and disposed of in landfills,” Abbott said previously. “… it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life.”
During a commission hearing in August, supporters said the rules are necessary because abortion facilities treat unborn babies’ bodies like garbage and sometimes dump them down public sewer drains, Fox 7 reported. State Rep. Mark Keough mentioned a gruesome case in 2005 when a woman who worked near a Houston abortion facility saw tiny aborted babies’ limbs and other body parts in a parking lot when a sewer line broke.
SUPPORT PRO-LIFE NEWS! Please help LifeNews.com with a donation during Giving Tuesday!
Abortion activists oppose the rules, claiming that they will create additional costs and burdens for abortion facilities. There also are rumblings that they may file a lawsuit.
David Brown, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the Texas Tribune the rules are an “unnecessary burden and an intrusion” on women’s rights and beliefs.
“These new restrictions reveal the callous indifference that Texas politicians have toward women,” Brown said.
However, health department spokesperson Carrie Williams said their research indicates that the rules will not increase costs.
“While the methods described in the new rules may have a cost, that cost is expected to be offset by costs currently being spent by facilities on disposition for transportation, storage, incineration, steam disinfection and/or landfill disposal,” Williams said.
Previously, abortion facilities could dispose of aborted babies’ bodies in landfills or give them to research groups.
More states are moving to require dignified burials of aborted babies’ bodies after undercover videos revealed evidence that Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities may be selling aborted babies’ body parts. The Center for Medical Progress videos prompted a number of states and the U.S. House to open investigations into the matter.
In Ohio, the state attorney general’s investigation found that Planned Parenthood was “steam cooking” aborted babies’ bodies before dumping them in landfills. An investigation in South Carolina also caught Planned Parenthood facilities illegally dumping aborted babies’ bodies in public landfills, and fined them for it.
John Seago, Legislative Director of Texas Right To Life, previously told LifeNews that the rules are strong attempt to restore the dignity to the victims of abortion. However, he noted that they are just one small step toward the ultimate goal of protecting unborn babies’ lives from abortion.
“Texas Right to Life is in favor of the proposed rules to clarify the manner in which abortion clinics handled the bodies of these victims of abortion,” Seago said. “However, Texas Right to Life strongly believes that the pro-life movement must go far beyond simply regulating the disposition and donation of these bodies after abortion. Texas must take positive steps to stop the horrific injustice of elective abortion instead of just regulating the aftermath.”