We’ve seen good old fashioned Texan charm in action too many times over the years as Texas politicians attempted to get clinics shut down over building code fine print, but their current legislative Frankenstein’s monster involves forcing health care facilities to adopt a particularly bizarre and unnecessary ritual into their medical waste disposal routines: internment and/or cremation of fetal tissue.
That’s right! We’re talking about funerals for fetuses.
According to the Texas Tribune, after first proposing the rule quietly in July, officials with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission “re-submitted for public consideration a proposed rule change that prohibits hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, instead allowing only cremation or interment of all remains regardless of the period of gestation — even in instances of miscarriages.”
Naturally, these rules have abso-fucking-lutely zero physical or mental health benefits for women who choose to terminate a pregnancy (or for women who experiences a miscarriage)
So what do they offer? First of all, the rule puts additional financial— with costs that can add up to thousands of dollars — and logistical burdens on the health-care providers who already slog through the worst of anti-woman, anti-choice opposition to do their jobs each day because, arbitrarily, policy-makers decided that this medical waste needs someone to whisper a prayer over it.
And, if that’s not enough: it’s also an opportunity for these pathetic, fetus-fetishizing weirdos to codify their bizarre ideas about fetal tissue being alive (regardless of viability or how/why the pregnancy was ended) and set precedent for putting that fetal tissue on the same footing as a person. That’s ultimately what it’s all about — punishing women and the people who dare to help them while keeping a baseless lie alive. It’s the anti trifecta.
The Dallas News reports that the superheroes at NARAL, the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and other pro-abortion groups in Texas have been gathering signatures, making noise and raising hell to see these rules thrown out. (The CRR also put out a call to action, encouraging legislators to drop the “sham” amendments that ”unconstitutionally interfere with women's ability to access reproductive health care,” which you should totally check out and share.)
While officials have added time to the public comment period due to the initial public response (appropriately, the new comment period ends on Halloween when people typically enjoy being subjected to horror stories) many signs, including 12,000 ignored comments from the first comment period, hint that those officials will keep holding on to the belief that fetal tissue deserves more sympathy than they show their female constituents.