Attorney General Ken Paxton today asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to review and reverse a lower court’s decision blocking Texas from implementing laws requiring the humane disposition of fetal remains.
“Texas values the dignity of the unborn. Texas law prevents fetal remains from being tossed out in landfills or sewers,” Attorney General Paxton said. “We established during a weeklong district court trial in July that the law is constitutional and does not impact the abortion procedure or the availability of abortion in Texas. We’re hopeful the 5th Circuit will uphold the Texas law and reverse the lower court’s misguided ruling.”
A provision of Senate Bill 8, enacted by the Texas Legislature in 2017, requires health care facilities to provide a dignified disposition for fetal remains from miscarriages or abortions through interment or the spreading of ashes. Previous law permitted fetal remains to be discharged into a sewer system or incinerated and sent to a landfill.
The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that states may express their respect for the unborn as long as they do not impose a substantial obstacle to a woman’s right to a pre-viability abortion. Senate Bill 8 imposes no such obstacle.
During the weeklong district court trial, a legal team from Attorney General Paxton’s office presented evidence and expert testimony to bolster Texas’ case against challenges to Senate Bill 8. Among other things, they demonstrated that if the law takes effect, women will continue to have the same access to abortion that they previously had and it will not violate any patient’s constitutional rights.
View a copy of the brief here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/images/admin/2018/Press/AppellantsBrief_FM.pdf