Texas Committee Votes to Require Abortion Clinics to Bury Aborted Babies, Not Sell Them

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 1, 2017   |   8:42PM   |   Austin, Texas

A Texas Senate committee moved forward two bills on Wednesday that would require a dignified burial for aborted babies.

The committee approved both bills on Wednesday, sending them to the full state Senate for consideration, just a few months after a judge struck down a similar state rule requiring that aborted babies’ bodies be buried or cremated, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Both measures come in response to the Center for Medical Progress undercover videos that exposed Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups possibly illegally profiting off the sales of aborted babies’ body parts.

Texas Senate Bill 238, sponsored by Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, would require that babies’ remains from abortions or miscarriages be cremated or buried, if passed in an abortion clinic or other medical facility. Huffines said the measure will “protect the dignity of the unborn.”

The second measure, Texas Senate Bill 8, would end any possible profiting from aborted babies’ body parts by prohibiting abortion facilities from donating them to research, according to the Texas Tribune. Gov. Greg Abbott has said the bill is a top priority.

“What we want to do is get away from profiting motive as well as middlemen dealing with fetal tissue,” said Sen. Charles Schwertner, sponsor of Senate Bill 8.

Abortion activists criticized a similar rule last year, arguing that the cost of cremating or burying the aborted babies creates an undue burden on abortion clinics and therefore women’s access to abortion.

Serious concerns about the treatment of human remains are a key motive behind the two bills.

During a Texas health commission hearing in August, supporters said these measures are necessary because abortion facilities treat unborn babies’ bodies like garbage and sometimes dump them down public sewer drains, Fox 7 reported.

Texas 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.

Currently, abortion facilities can dispose of aborted babies’ bodies in landfills or give them to research groups. Though it is illegal, there is a possibility that abortion facilities also could be selling them for a profit.

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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 and Senate 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. A state investigation in South Carolina also caught Planned Parenthood facilities illegally dumping aborted babies’ bodies in public landfills, and fined them for it.