Federal Judge Blocks Texas' Fetal Remains Rules for Foreseeable Future

AUSTIN — U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Friday blocked Texas from enforcing a rule requiring fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages to be buried or cremated.Sparks said the rules are "likely are unconstitutionally vague and impose an undue burden on the right to an abortion." He issued a preliminary injunction Friday that will stay in place until a trial date is set and the case is decided. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he plans to appeal the decision and continue to fight to honor "the dignity of the unborn." "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 statement. "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 sued the state over the rule last year, arguing that it imposes a religious ritual on women, does not benefit public health and could lead clinics to close as few vendors are willing to perform cremation and burial services for tissue from abortions. Sparks heard testimony from abortion providers, funeral directors and the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops over a two-day hearing earlier this month, at the end of which he delayed implementation of the rules until Friday. "Anti-abortion attacks cannot and will not slow us down," said Amy Hagstrom-Miller, president of Whole Woman's Health and the lead plaintiff in the case, in a prepared statement. "It is so important that our resiliency continues to blaze a path so that people in all communities are inspired to stand up and continue to fight back against political interference that attempts to regulate our lives."  Continue reading...

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