Judge Blocks Fetal Burial Rule So Remains Will Continue Going To A Garbage Dump

An excavator crushes trash at the Anchorage Landfill, Aug. 21. The landfill provides the methane that powers the newly constructed Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Landfill Gas Plant. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

A federal judge in Texas granted a restraining order to block new rules requiring that fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages, regardless of the length of gestation, be buried or cremated rather than being sent to a sanitary landfill as is often the case now.


The new rules were set to take effect on Monday and were put in place by the state’s health department at te request of Texas Governor Greg Abbott in July after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws that would have made abortion clinics safer for women and better regulated.

The Center for Reproductive Rights and other groups filed a lawsuit to stop the rules because heaven forfend we acknowledge what has died is a human being that deserves to be treated with respect and dignity no matter how small.

The argument from the Center for Reproductive rights and opponents of the new rules argue that they’re only purpose is to shame women.

Actually, it is about being on the side of compassion for human life, not about shaming anyone who’s gone through an abortion. It is understood that anybody walking through the doors of an abortion clinic is inarguably going through a time of life not going as planned.

Adhering to common decency is still worthwhile.


However, even on just a health level the state’s health department has argued that cremation is more sanitary than the “biological waste” going into a landfill.

Arguments from opponents about the cost of cremation and burial are also being met with compassion and offers of assistance. The Texas Catholic Conference is planning to allow free burial for aborted and miscarried babies in Catholic cemeteries in the state.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks who granted the restraining order expects to make a final ruling by January 6th. In the meantime, these babies will continue being dumped in a landfill. We can and should do better than that.


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