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Texas AG Paxton Defends Humane Treatment of Fetal Remains

by | Jul 16, 2020

Editor’s note. This was provided by the Texas Attorney General’s office.

Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a letter brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit addressing the impact of a recent decision from the United States Supreme Court that held unconstitutional a Louisiana law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. 

The Fifth Circuit is currently considering a challenge to a Texas law requiring the humane treatment of fetal remains through interment or scattering of ashes. Abortion providers sued the State, seeking an injunction that permits them to treat the remains of unborn children as medical waste that is incinerated and placed in a landfill. But they have yet to provide any evidence that this law imposes a burden on women or prevents access to abortion.  

“The abortion industry will go to extraordinary lengths to obscure the fundamental reality that the child in the womb is a human being. The requirement to treat the remains of unborn children with dignity and respect would do nothing to affect the availability of abortion in Texas,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that States have an interest in the lives of the unborn, and this Texas law serves to honor their dignity rather than treat them as medical waste.” 

Today’s letter brief also asserts that abortion providers lack standing to sue on behalf of what they imagine their patients’ subjective beliefs to be and that the humane disposition of fetal remains does not create an obstacle to abortion access. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld a similar Indiana fetal-remains law, stating that the State had “legitimate interest in proper disposal of fetal remains,” and the humane disposition of remains is directly and rationally related to that interest. 

The letter sent by Attorney General Paxton can be read here.

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