While remains of aborted fetuses are typically disposed of in sanitary landfills, the state of Texas has decided that instead, they will require women who have undergone the procedure to bury or cremate their child’s remains.

It was, however, clarified that this new law will not apply to abortions carried out at home. It will also not be applicable to miscarriage. To retain confidentiality, women will not need to fill out a death certificate.

The proposal was approved rather swiftly by Governor Greg Abbott after he stated he disapproved of “fetal remains” being “treated like medical waste and disposed of in landfills.”

Abbott stated that this new law was created in an effort to protect the rights of the unborn. He also hopes it will shift the attitude toward abortion in the state of Texas.

He stated in a letter to the Texas Tribune:

“I believe it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life.This is why Texas will require clinics and hospitals to bury or cremate human and fetal remains.”

According to the new law, remains of an aborted fetus will be treated the same way as the remains of any dead human. The law states that the fetus must now be “[treated] using the process of cremation, entombment, burial, or placement in a niche or by using the process of cremation followed by placement of the ashes in a niche, grave, or scattering of ashes as authorized by law.”

Critics of the law feel Abbott is attempting to stand in the way of abortions because he is not requiring the same burial practice amongst fetuses aborted in private.

They claim he is forcing the practice underground and will make things more unsafe for desperate women.

Others worried the costs incurred for a burial or cremation may also force women to turn to more dangerous alternatives.

However, Texas Department of State Health Services spokesperson, Carrie Williams, stated:

“What we found through our research is that the proposed rules won’t increase total costs for healthcare facilities. 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.”

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