AUSTIN (AP) — The Texas Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill mandating burial or cremation of fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages, even though a federal judge already blocked an existing state rule requiring the same thing.
Dallas Republican Sen. Don Huffines’ bill passed 22-9 on Wednesday. It still needs a final vote to send it to the House.
Huffines says Texas now allows putting fetal remains in garbage disposals, though medical providers note that they usually are incinerated and deposited in sanitary landfills.
Opponents argue the bill will discourage abortions by making them more expensive.
Texas’ health department previously set rules requiring fetal remains’ burial or cremation, but a U.S. district judge suspended them as “purely political.”
Lawmakers are nonetheless trying to make the mandate part of state law.