AUSTIN (AP) — Lawmakers in the Texas House have started debating a bill mandating burial or cremation of fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages, even though a federal judge already blocked a state rule requiring the same thing.
Republican Rep. Byron Cook, who heads the State Affairs Committee, proposed the measure. His committee heard it Wednesday.
Cook, of Corsicana, says Texas now allows putting such remains in garbage disposals, though medical providers say they usually are incinerated and deposited in sanitary landfills.
Opponents argue the bill will discourage abortions by making them more expensive.
Texas’ health department previously set rules requiring burial or cremation of fetal remains, but a U.S. district judge suspended them as “purely political.”
Lawmakers are still insisting on such a mandate becoming part of state law. A Senate committee already passed that chamber’s version of the bill.
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