US judge blocks Texas fetal tissue burial laws

Measure deemed to put obstacle in path of women seeking abortion

A federal judge blocked Texas laws requiring the burial or cremation of aborted fetal tissue, saying in a decision on Wednesday the measures placed substantial and unconstitutional obstacles in the path of a woman's right to choose an abortion.

US District Judge David Ezra in Austin, Texas, issued a permanent injunction preventing the measures from going into effect. The ruling was the latest in a series of court decisions that have blocked abortion restrictions set in place by Texas' Republican-dominated legislature.

"The evidence in this case overwhelmingly demonstrated that if the challenged laws were to go into effect now, they would likely cause a near catastrophic failure of the healthcare system designed to serve women of childbearing age within the State of Texas," Ezra wrote in a decision posted in online records.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who include abortion providers, said women could already seek burial or cremation of fetal tissue under current state law.

They said the law placed an arbitrary burden on women's beliefs by requiring a burial ritual and could place providers under threat of closure if they could not find ways to abide by the measures.

Lawyers for Texas argued the laws would protect human dignity and have no impact on abortion providers.

Comments not loading? We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with javascript turned on.
Comments powered by Disqus