ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
70°
Broken Clouds
H 74° L 61°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    70°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 74° L 61°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    63°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 74° L 61°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    74°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 77° L 62°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Texas to require burial or cremation of aborted, miscarried fetuses
Close

Texas to require burial or cremation of aborted, miscarried fetuses

Texas to require burial or cremation of aborted, miscarried fetuses
Photo Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell
Lexi Cardenas stands in the back of the room holding a sign during an August hearing about proposed rules that aborted and miscarried fetuses not used for scientific research must be buried or cremated.

Texas to require burial or cremation of aborted, miscarried fetuses

Medical facilities in Texas will be required to cremate or bury aborted and miscarried fetuses starting Dec. 19.

Since the policy was first proposed in July, the Texas Department of State Health Services held two public hearings and received 35,000 comments from abortion rights advocates and their opponents, who have argued that the policy would give fetuses the respect that they deserve.

Critics, however, said the rule is unconstitutional because it discourages women from getting an abortion. Opponents also said the rule retraumatizes women after a miscarriage, and that it doesn’t protect the public’s health.

“The addition of nonmedical ritual to current clinical practice only serves to further interfere with a patient’s autonomy and decision-making in their own medical care,” said Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. “Instead of passing laws that further complicate a patient’s experience and force them to consider burial services, we should focus on making sure that patients are supported, respected, and empowered in their decision.”

>> Read more trending stories

Agency officials have argued that the rule will protect the public from communicable diseases.

Current rules allow fetal remains, as with other medical tissue, to be ground and discharged into a sewer system, incinerated or disinfected and then disposed of in a landfill.

The proposal is part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s Life Initiative, meant to “protect the unborn and prevent the sale of baby body parts,” according to a statement on his website.

“These rules provide a comparable level of protection to public health, while eliminating disposition options that are clearly incompatible with the Legislature’s articulated objective of protecting the dignity of the unborn,” according to the agency’s justification for the new policy, published in the Texas Register on Monday.

Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the state Health and Human Services Commission, said the agency tweaked the original proposal after feedback from the public. Women who miscarry at home are excluded from the disposal requirements, and birth and death certificates aren’t required for burial and cremation of a fetus.

The new fetal tissue rule would affect 236 small facilities, primarily abortion facilities and ambulatory centers, according to the state’s analysis.

The analysis said those facilities could incur some cost, “but that cost is expected to be off-set” by the money the facilities spend now on disposing of tissue.

Facilities could also save money by working with private entities that have offered to help cover burial fees, according to the analysis.

The rule wouldn’t need legislative approval as it is subject to the general authority of the state health agency to amend rules “as needed to keep them current,” Williams has said.

Still, state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, filed a bill this month that would require health care facilities, including abortion clinics, to ensure that all fetal remains are buried or cremated.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A 6-year-old boy is said to be in serious condition, after nearly drowning in the Bartram Springs community pool, just off Racetrack Road, near Philips Highway.   According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the child was with his family and lifeguards were on duty.   '[He] had some type of a condition, was observed under the water, was pulled out of the water, basic life support was initiated on the child,' explains a JSO officer.   The boy was rushed to Baptist South and eventually transferred to Wolfson Children's Hospital.
  • A Texas couple was charged with child endangerment Thursday after a woman told Harris County sheriff’s deputies that she found their 8-week-old child in the middle of a parking lot, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news A woman called police Tuesday night after finding the baby boy strapped to a car seat in a parking space in a Katy strip mall, the Houston Chronicle reported. The child was cold and fussy by the time the woman who called police, Dee Griffin-Stevens, found him, according to KHOU. “I just pictured my own children when they were that little,” she told the news station. “I call him ‘baby love,’ because I don’t know his name and probably won’t ever know his name, but I loved him and took care of him.” Authorities estimated that the child was left for at least 45 minutes before he was found. An employee at a nearby pizzeria recognized the infant and called his parents, according to KHOU.  Deputies arrested Sarah Shibley, 33, and Gary Collins, 39, on charges of child endangerment. “Shibley, who works at the pizzeria, said she left the child in the parking lot where she works and thought his father placed him in a car,” KHOU reported. Shilbey was released on $2,000 bond, according to the Chronicle. Collins remained jailed Friday.
  • An Oklahoma company is recalling nearly 1 million pounds of breaded chicken products sold nationwide after customers complained of finding “metal objects” in the food. >> Read more trending news About 933,300 pounds of OK Food Inc. breaded chicken products fall under the recall, according to a notice issued Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The chicken was sold under various brand names, including Wal-Mart’s Great Value store brand. The products were also sold to institutions across the country.  >> See the full list of recalled OK Food Inc. chicken products The affected chicken products have establishment No. P-7092 in the USDA mark of inspection. The recall comes after five people complained of finding metal in OK Food Inc.’s chicken. Personnel with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service also found metal in the products. OK Food Inc. determined that the food was tainted by metal from a conveyor belt. No injuries or illnesses have been reported.
  • A Texas woman is recovering after a life-threatening ordeal in the Arizona desert. Texas college student Amber VanHecke, 24, ran out of gas on a sightseeing trip to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon on March 12. >> Read more trending news She was traveling by herself and told ABC News that she made a wrong turn based on directions from her GPS. She ended up in the middle of nowhere and making matters worse she couldn’t get cellphone reception.  But she was prepared because she had traveled alone before. 'I planned out my itinerary, had it posted on Facebook and stuff and off I went with some non-perishables and water,' ABC News reported. As one day turned into two, she started writing messages on notebook paper and created a “help” sign out of rocks. It wasn’t until the fourth day that she decided to start walking to try and get a signal for her cellphone. She managed to talk to a 911 operator briefly before she lost the call, but it was long enough.  An air rescue crew from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office was sent to look for her. The crew found her car and a note she had left explaining that she had started walking east, media outlets reported. They also spotted her “help” sign from the air. They eventually located her based on all the clues she left behind. The Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a statement Wednesday on its website that VanHecke had run out of food and was almost out of water when she was found on March 17, five days after her ordeal began. 'When she left the vehicle, she left notes so we knew where to find her. She did everything right,' trooper paramedic Eddie Bissonette said. 'She was treated at the scene for exposure, placed in the helicopter, and transported to the trauma center in Flagstaff,' according to the statement. VanHecke managed to stay positive about the harrowing experience, posting about her ordeal on Facebook. “I must be Irish because the luck was definitely with me today to get found.”  
  • One 24-year-old man is dead; another is behind bars.   The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has announced the arrest of 24-year-old Toray Ricketts, after a deadly, overnight shooting outside the Suite nightclub at the St. Johns Town Center.   According to JSO, there was some sort of verbal argument that turned physical, with Ricketts and the victim, Sina Sharifai, both ending up on the ground.   'At that point, that's when Ricketts pulled a handgun from his waistline and fired two shots, striking Mr. Sharifai,' explains a JSO official.   Sharifai was rushed to the hospital, but later died from his injuries.   Ricketts was eventually arrested without incident and is now charged with second-degree murder, as well as carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.

The Latest News Videos