New rule requires cremation or burial of aborted fetuses

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Thursday, December 1, 2016
New rule requiring cremation or burial of aborted fetuses
New rule requiring cremation or burial of aborted fetuses, Tom Abrahams reports.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- In a controversial debate, abortion providers in the state of Texas will soon be required to cremate or bury all aborted fetuses.

"We want to treat all life with dignity in life and in death," Senator Paul Bettancourt said.

Bettancourt is a proponent of the new rules which would require either burial or cremation for aborted fetuses.

"I think the rule changes are right and I think the rule changes are agreed to by the vast majority of Texans," he said.

The rules were not passed in the legislature as law. Rather, they're backed by Governor Greg Abbott and enacted by Department of State Health Services. More than 35,000 people voiced their opinions during a pair of public hearings.

There is resistance, including that from National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League which estimates the rules add $2,000 to the cost of each abortion.

"The Department of State Health Services is playing politics with reproductive rights and the rights of pregnant Texans," Natalie San Luis said.

San Luis is the Houston community organizer for NARAL.

"Abortions would become more costly. It's another barrier between abortion providers and providing accessible medical care. And there's no reason for the rule. There's no medical evidence," she said.

Elizabeth Graham is with Texas Right to Life and she says the projected added cost should not be a deterrent for women who've already made a difficult choice.

"If abortion clinics want to stay in the for profit business of selling abortion, they should be the one to absorb the cost and not pass on the cost to pregnant, vulnerable women," Graham added.