A U.S District Judge here in Austin again blocked Health Department Regulations on the controversial "Fetal Tissue Burial" rule. Federal Judge Sam Sparks said the new rule requiring fetal remains to be buried or cremated will remain suspended until further notice and a trial date will be set in coming weeks.
Currently fetal remains are disposed of as medical waste, like all other human tissue. The new rule they were to be cremated or buried was set to take effect in December.
The injunction to stop those rules is temporary injunction and it will go to trial but for those opposed to the new rules they said it's a step in the right direction. Amy Hagstrom Miller is the founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, she said in a statement, “Today, Judge Sparks saw past the state's claims and ruled on the right side of history. This ruling allows Texans to have the dignity to continue to make their own private healthcare decisions. We knew from the beginning when overzealous Texas politicians tried to put forward new medically unnecessary rules that would require all women who have an abortion or receive treatment for a miscarriage at any healthcare facility to have to bury or cremate embryonic tissue. This restriction, just like the many before it, all across our nation, does not create any health benefit for women and is strictly designed to limit access to safe, quality abortion care.
Anti-abortion attacks cannot and will not slow us down. It is so important that our resiliency continues to blaze a path that people in all communities are empowered to stand up and continue to fight back against political interference that attempt to regulate our lives. We will not back down and are thrilled that, yet again today we were victorious for Texans.
Supporters of the new rule said the judge's decision is unfortunate but they are not surprised, Joe Pojman is the Executive Director of Texas Alliance for Life, “I was in the courtroom for the three days of the hearing, and I don’t think he was very sympathetic to many of the arguments which were quite plain.” Pojman said they still have hope the new rules will go into place prior to the trial. “The Attorney General of Texas has already pledged to appeal this decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which I predict will give a much favorable hearing to these rules,” he said.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement "Texas has chosen to dignify the life of the unborn by requiring the humane disposition of fetal remains," he said the ruling "Reaffirms that the abortion lobby has grown so extreme that it will reject any and every regulation no matter how sensible."