US-JUSTICE-RIGHTS-ABORTION

An attempt to issue a new rule requiring the disposal of fetal remains through burial or cremation was rejected by a court last fall, so now state lawmakers have introduced a bill in the Legislature to give it the authority of law, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Currently, fetal remains are considered 'medical waste' and are generally disposed with other garbage.  But Sate Rep. Byron Pitts (R-Corsicana) says that does not include the dignity that human remains deserve.

"When those on Death Row convicted of a most heinous crime are executed, we bury them," he said.  "We don't put them down a garbage disposal or in a landfill."

Pitts said state law requires that the remains of euthanized animals be granted more 'dignity' than the state grants to the remains of human fetuses.

He says his bill would not, in any way, affect 'access to abortion,' which is what prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out two high profile measures to limit the operation of abortion clinics which was approved in 2011.

Pitts says the measure would specifically dictate that the cost of the burial or cremation not be paid by the woman undergoing the abortion, but would be paid by the abortion provider.  He says he knows of several organizations which have expressed a desire to help cover the costs.

Carol Everett, who told the Legislature that she worked in abortion clinics for years and said she 'supervised 35,000 abortions' said its about time.

"The abortion industry uses a heavy-duty industrial disposal to dispose of babies," she said.  "They want one...there's not a better term...shreds clockwise and counter-clockwise."

Opponents say the requirement is 'medically unnecessary,' and point out that state law allows cremains to be placed in a landfill,  

The previous attempt to approve this law via a Department of State Health Services Rule was blocked by a federal judge in Austin and is now being appealed.

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