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Texas Governor Stands Firm on Proposed Rules Requiring Burial or Cremation of Fetal Remains

Say what you want about Texas Governor Greg Abbott – it is awfully difficult to doubt his sincerity when it comes to preserving the sanctity of life.

Abbott has long done what he can to be a thorn in the side to abortion providers, and his latest effort to that end is, admittedly, a strong one.


Back in July, rules were quietly proposed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (THHSC) that would require the burial or cremation of fetal remains, regardless of the gestation period, and also without regard to whether the remains come to exist as the result of a miscarriage.

The publication of the rules in the Texas Register back on July 1 triggered a public comment period. Although the state reviewed hours of public testimony, along with over 12,000 written comments, during this time, the end result is that no changes were made to the rules, and they are set to go into effect Sept. 30.

As previously reported by The Texas Tribune, Abbott said that fetal remains shouldn’t be “treated like medical waste and disposed of in landfills,” and that “it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life.”

Going full throttle with this, the THHSC even appears to have brushed aside a suggestion from Texas Right to Life that the rules be changed so that they do not apply to miscarriages at home, a circumstance that could potentially require women to actually transport the tissue remains to a medical facility for disposal in accordance with the new mandate.

Although the rules appear to be headed toward finalization, it is expected that they will lead to the initiation of all kinds of litigation from a wide variety of interests.

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large