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Politics

Texas Fetal Burial Rule On Hold Till January

State Senator Sylvia Garcia is hailing the decision by Judge Sam Sparks to grant a temporary injunction, pending a lawsuit challenging the rule’s constitutionality.

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State Senator Sylvia Garcia of Houston is praising a federal judge's decision to temporarily block a rule requiring fetal remains to be buried or cremated.

The rule was set to go into effect on Monday. The injunction by federal Judge Sam Sparks puts it on hold until January, when he decides a lawsuit on whether the rule is constitutional. Lawyers with the Center for Reproductive Rights are representing the plaintiffs. Garcia says she hopes the stay gives them the time they need to make their case.

"It's not about the health and safety of the women but more about putting barriers to those seeking abortions," she says.

Supporters of the rule counter it's necessary to protect "the dignity of the unborn." Currently, hospitals and clinics can dispose of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, as they often do with medical waste.

Governor Greg Abbott proposed the rule to the state health commission in July. That was just after the Supreme Court overturned a Texas law that would have forced most abortion clinics in the state to shut their doors. News 88.7 reached out to the governor's office for comment but received no response by airtime.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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