Court Rules Texas Can Challenge Block of Fetal Remains Burial Rule

AUSTIN -- Texas chalked up a legal win Wednesday in its court battle to require the burial of fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages.Last month, the state appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a ruling that blocked the state's fetal remains burial rule. On Wednesday, the court denied a motion from the rule's opponents to dismiss that appeal.The rule requires fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages to be buried or cremated. After several abortion providers sued over the regulation last year, in late January, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said the rules "likely are unconstitutionally vague and impose an undue burden on the right to an abortion." At that time, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed to appeal the action."Today's ruling, however, reaffirms that the abortion lobby has grown so extreme that it will reject any and every regulation no matter how sensible," Paxton said in a prepared statement in January. "Indeed, no longer content with merely ending the life of the unborn, the radical left now objects to even the humane treatment of fetal remains."Abortion providers in Texas, including lead plaintiff Whole Women's Health, said the rule imposes religious ritual, does not benefit public health and could lead to facility closures.Wednesday's ruling allows Paxton's appeal to continue, but the court rejected his request to expedite oral arguments.The handling of fetal remains was a controversial issue during the most recent legislative session. Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed a multifaceted anti-abortion bill that includes a provision requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains.  Continue reading...

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