In Texas, Arguments Begin In Legal Challenge To State’s Fetal Remains Burial Rule
A U.S. district court judge halted a hearing on Tuesday on the rule's constitutionality and ordered state lawyers to appear in his Austin courtroom with answers to key questions first thing Wednesday morning.
Arguments Begin In Lawsuit Over Texas Fetal Remains Burial Rule
Attorneys for Texas and a women's reproductive rights advocacy group sparred over costs, compliance and public health in federal court on Tuesday, the first day of arguments in a lawsuit on the state's fetal remains burial rule. (Evans, 1/3)
The Austin American Statesman:
Judge’s Question Could Spell Trouble For Fetal Burial Law
A Texas regulation requiring fetal remains to be buried or cremated ran into potentially serious trouble Tuesday when a federal judge raised questions about the scope and impact of the rule. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks abruptly halted a hearing on the constitutionality of the rule and ordered state lawyers to appear in his Austin courtroom, with answers, at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday — a half-hour before the hearing was set to continue for a second and final day. (Lindell, 1/3)
The Associated Press:
Federal Judge Mulling Fate Of Texas Fetal Remains Rules
Abortion providers told a federal judge Tuesday that Texas' attempt to require burial or cremation of fetal remains was "government interference" without public health benefits, while state lawyers countered that clinics want to be allowed to continue disposing of such remains in landfills. The question of what becomes of tissue left over from abortions and miscarriages is the latest legal battle over abortion in Texas, which saw the U.S. Supreme Court last summer strike down much of its larger abortion restrictions that had been among the nation's toughest. (Weissert, 1/3)
Texas Abortion Provider Says Fetal Tissue Burial Rule Is 'Offensive'
The president of an abortion provider told a federal court on Tuesday a proposed Texas regulation requiring facilities to dispose of aborted fetal tissue through burial or cremation is unnecessary and "offensive. "Women's health providers, which provide abortions, among other services, argue the rules are part of a nationwide agenda to place restrictions on abortions and make it harder for women to get the procedure. But officials in Texas have argued it would afford dignity to the tissue. (Herskovitz, 1/3)
In other abortion-related news -
The Associated Press:
Virginia Governor Vows To Veto 20-Week Abortion Ban Bill
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is promising to veto legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying such a "socially divisive" proposal hurts the state's image. The legislation, proposed by a Republican delegate, mirrors similar measures supported by Congressional Republicans and one signed into law in Ohio last month. Abortion-rights opponents have been emboldened by the election success of Donald Trump and the Republican Party and plan a broad push both at the state and federal level this year. (Suderman, 1/3)