The state of Texas will implement its controversial new rules that will require the burial or cremation of aborted fetal remains, state health officials told the Texas Tribune Monday. The new restrictions on fetal remains resulting from an abortion were passed earlier this year and will go into effect on Dec. 19th. The restrictions, pushed by Texas Republicans and Gov. Greg Abbott, are part of a larger push to make access to abortion services as difficult to obtain as possible for women and as cumbersome as possible to administer for health providers.
“Despite intense outcry from the medical community and reproductive rights advocates, the state will prohibit hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, instead allowing only cremation or interment of all remains — regardless of the period of gestation,” according to the Tribune.
“The proposed rule has bitterly divided reproductive rights advocates and anti-abortion advocates,” the Texas Tribune reported earlier this month. “Abortion supporters have said it would put unnecessary emotional burdens and financial costs on women. Anti-abortion groups point out that the rule would allow more care for fetuses and a more dignified way of disposing them.”
Pro-choice activists are expected to challenge the new burial provisions in court.