The allegation that Planned Parenthood was selling body parts for cash has spurred Texas and other states to advocate for stricter rules in regards to the treatment of human remains.
Texas lawmakers are now demanding that aborted fetuses be buried or cremated. This rule – similar to ultrasound requirements in other states – is designed to make abortions seems more like murder.
Under current laws, aborted fetuses and body parts can be thrown away like garbage. They can be dumped into landfills or donated to research groups.
“Abortion providers generally use third-party special waste services to dispose of fetal remains,” reports The Washington Post. “Previous rules allowed fetal remains, along with other medical tissue, to be ground up and discharged into a sewer system, incinerated, or handled by some other approved process before being disposed of in a landfill.”
But these rules are not always followed, and there have been cases where body parts have been discovered in public sewer drains.
Even if the rules are followed, aborted fetuses should not be treated like medical waste. They should be treated with respect.
This week, a Texas Senate committee approved two bills that would require abortion providers to bury or cremate fetuses.
SB238 requires that body parts from miscarriages and abortions be buried or cremated. SB8 prohibits abortion providers from donating these body parts.
Not only will these bills prevent abortion providers from profiting on the sale of body parts, they will also further the pro-life cause by making fetuses seem more like people.
“What we want to do is get away from profiting motive as well as middlemen dealing with fetal tissue,” said SB8 sponsor Senator Charles Schwertner.
Critics complain that these new rules will put undue burden on abortion facilities and shame women seeking abortions.
“These new restrictions reveal the callous indifference that Texas politicians have toward women,” argues David Brown of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Forcing a woman to pay for a burial after she ends a pregnancy or experiences a miscarriage is not just absurd – it is an unnecessary burden and an intrusion on her personal beliefs.”
Most abortions cost between $300 and $900. The price of a burial or cremation could cost hundreds or even thousands more. Opponents argue that these added costs will make it more difficult for women to get safe, legal abortions.
Roughly 42% of Texans identify as pro-life. “Human life is not a commodity or an inconvenience. It is our most basic right,” writes Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“Without it, we have no other rights…I believe it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life. This is why Texas will require clinics or hospitals to bury or cremate human or fetal remains.”