Analysis

Objections to Texas’ fetal burial law full of holes

(Photo credit: Matt Turner, CC License 2.0)

These days, laws don’t even have to touch abortion itself to get accused of encroaching on the mythic ‘right to choose.’ As we’ve been covering for months now, one of the pro-aborts’ current targets is a Texas requirement that facilities which perform abortions must either cremate or bury the children they kill.

Several states have proposed similar regulations in response to multiple instances of abortionists disposing of their victims in landfills — callously treating human remains like garbage.

Of course, we can’t have the public pausing to reflect on the “human” in “human remains,” so cries of controversy persist. Vice’s Lauren Messman has a report presenting a batch of the latest objections.

But the new rules, submitted in July by state health officials and finalized Monday, will require abortion providers to bury or cremate the remains and foot the cost, which is sometimes thousands of dollars per case.

To her credit, Messman later quotes Department of State Health Services spokeswoman, Carrie Williams, responding to the cost objection by noting that the “cost is expected to be offset by costs currently being spent by facilities on disposition for transportation, storage, incineration, steam disinfection, and/or landfill disposal.” You can’t take that sort of thing — ‘hard news’ accurately presenting both sides of a story — for granted these days.

That said, the cost is beside the point. States already regulate the handling of born people’s remains, and everyone rightly regards it as a scandal whenever someone tries to dispose of the born deceased in the same way abortionists dispose of dead babies. Where are the ‘pro-choice’ activists demanding we deregulate the disposal of born corpses? Think of the money we’d save!

According to Texas’s Health and Human Services Commission, the new rules were put in place to bring “enhanced protection of the health and safety of the public.” They don’t apply to abortions or miscarriages that happen at home and won’t require patients to get death certificates.

This admission is refreshing, too. After months of pro-aborts falsely accusing Vice President-elect Mike Pence of forcing women in Indiana to pay for the funerals of babies they abort, it’s nice to see the media not trying to pull the same lie about another state.

The requirements faced opposition from medical professionals and reproductive rights advocates in the state who argue they place an unnecessary burden on women and abortion providers and don’t protect public health.

“The rules target physicians that provide abortions and the hospitals that care for patients,” Blake Rocap, legislative counsel for advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s so transparent that what they’re really trying to do is denying access to abortion.”

Help me out here: how does it ‘burden’ an abortion seeker to regulate the disposal of her child (a) after she’s gotten the abortion she wanted and is no longer pregnant, or (b) after the dead child is no longer in her possession at all? Gee, it’s almost as if ‘burden’ is just an empty word pro-aborts throw around to stoke negative emotions without having to admit the real reasons they oppose it: keeping preborn babies’ humanity out of sight and out of mind.

Lawyers from the Center for Reproductive Rights warned Texas health officials in August that the new guidelines would likely be challenged in court, but Republican lawmakers are already gearing up to write them into law when they reconvene in January.

This is too rich. Abortion advocates made the life debate a swamp of endless litigation through shameless judicial activism, starting with Roe v. Wade and continuing today as they consistently drag any and every form of modest, incremental pro-life legislation into court. Yet now they want to claim that pro-life lawmakers are the ones out of line for exercising their rightful authority as they do their jobs? In this case, “warned” should be better understood as “threatened.”

All that said, however, Texas’s law does leave one contradiction standing, albeit one that doesn’t help pro-aborts. The only reason we’re having this conversation — the only reason anyone thinks it’s okay to throw away dead babies like pieces of garbage — is because society tolerates treating those babies like garbage while they’re still alive. It is inconsistent to let someone execute a child for convenience, yet demand they treat the remains with the dignity that same child was denied in life…but to reconcile that inconsistency, we need to address the first part, not the second.

Here’s hoping that by extending this small measure of dignity to abortion’s victims, Texas will help jog people into a deeper reflection of the children’s humanity. (For more on that humanity, spend a few minutes visiting this site.)

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