Abortion Rights Group Sues Texas Over Remains Law

Abortion rights advocates are suing the state of Texas over a controversial law that requires aborted fetal remains to be cremated or buried.

The suit was filed in Austin by the Center for Reproductive Rights in U.S. District Court on Monday.

Texas lawmakers and Governor Greg Abbott signed off on the burial law, which requires clinics to cremate or bury the remains of aborted and miscarried fetuses regardless of how developed or undeveloped they are.

The group asserts that the law, which is set to go into effect next Monday, is only meant to shame women, make it more difficult to obtain an abortion, and serves no medical purpose.

The advocacy group also claims the law is unconstitutional because it places a substantial burden on medical facilities.

Abbott says the law’s intention is to treat unborn fetuses with dignity.

“It is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life,” the governor said.

“Texas has failed to provide any credible evidence of what health benefit this might serve because there aren’t any,” said Nancy Northup, President of the Center of Reproductive Rights. “Women do not want these laws. Doctors do not want these laws. And the Constitution does not allow them.”

In a statement on Monday, Northup also stated that the regulations were an “insult” to the U.S. Supreme Court and the rule of law.

The high court recently ruled that placing unnecessary restrictions on abortion access is unconstitutional. In July, Texas sought to pass a law that would have left the state with 10 abortion clinics, down from over 40 in 2012.

The state’s health department responded to more than 35,000 public comments on the legislation by stating it “believes the methods allowed by the rules will protect the public by preventing the spread of disease while also preserving the dignity of the unborn in a manner consistent with Texas laws.”