Lawyers from Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office appeared today before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to present oral arguments in defense of Texas’ law requiring humane treatment of fetal remains. 

The case centers on a 2017 law that requires health care facilities to dispose of the remains of aborted and miscarried children through burial, cremation, or the scattering of ashes. Previous law allowed health care facilities to discharge fetal remains into a sewer system or incinerate them and send the ashes to a landfill.

“The requirement to treat the remains of unborn children with dignity and respect would do nothing to affect the availability of abortion in Texas,” Attorney General Paxton said. “So why does the abortion industry object so strenuously? The unpleasant answer is that it will go to any lengths to obscure this fundamental reality: the child in the womb is a human being. But given the Supreme Court’s guidance on this very issue and the persuasive case made in the courtroom today, I’m confident that we will prevail.”

In May, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a similar fetal remains law from Indiana and held that States have a “legitimate interest in proper disposal of fetal remains.” The Supreme Court has also repeatedly held that States may enact laws to “express profound respect for the life of the unborn.”