Proposed Texas abortion laws include requiring burial of fetal remains

Pro-choice activists celebrate during a rally at the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 27, 2016, after the court struck down Texas' widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics. The justices voted 5-3 in favor of Texas clinics that had argued the regulations were a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an abortion in the nation's second-most populous state. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Pro-choice activists celebrate during a rally at the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 27, 2016, after the court struck down Texas' widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics. The justices voted 5-3 in favor of Texas clinics that had argued the regulations were a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get an abortion in the nation's second-most populous state. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — State senators are holding a public hearing on Wednesday to discuss proposed abortion laws.

There are three new proposals a senate committee is going to look at. One proposal would ban late-term abortions. Another bans the sale and research of fetal tissue. The last bill would require fetal remains to be buried or cremated.

The fight over whether or not Texas can implement the rule requiring hospitals and abortion clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains—rather than disposing of them in a sanitary landfill— is already heading to trial. The rule, which was initially set to go into effect on Dec. 19, 2016, was challenged by the two groups stating the law serves no medical purpose.

During the hearing, a cost-benefit analysis expert found the rule has no benefits for health and public safety, yet comes with costs, estimating each cremation would be around $500 to $700. Funeral homes are questioning who would pay for the burial costs.

In January, S. District Judge Sam Sparks determined there was enough evidence presented by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Whole Woman’s Health to grant a preliminary injunction. According to the injunction, there may be only one facility in the entire state of Texas both willing and currently able to handle disposal of fetal tissue as required by the rule.

Sparks stated that since there are not enough vendors to handle the task of burying fetal remains, it would “deliver a major, if not fatal, blow to healthcare providers performing abortions.”

“No longer content with merely ending the life of the unborn, the radical left now objects to even the humane treatment of fetal remains. Texas stands committed to honoring the dignity of the unborn and my office is proud to continue fighting for these new rules,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton, who plans to appeal the court’s injunction.

Texas first proposed the rules in July, just after the U.S. Supreme Court voided many of the state’s larger restrictions on abortion.

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