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.
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.
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