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Texas Matters: Fetal Tissue, SCOTUS & The Future Of Reproductive Rights

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The Texas law passed in 2017 required health care providers to arrange for the burial or cremation of fetal remains.

A federal judge recently blocked a Texas law requiring the burial or cremation of fetal tissue resulting from an abortion or miscarriage.

Jonathan Saenz, an attorney for Texas Values, is an advocate for tough anti-abortion laws. Molly Duane, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, sued Texas over the legality of the fetal tissue law. They join us on this episode of Texas Matters.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra this past week issued a permanent injunction preventing Texas' fetal burial law from going into effect. He wrote: "The evidence in this case overwhelmingly demonstrated that if the challenged laws were to go into effect now, they would likely cause a near catastrophic failure of the healthcare system designed to serve women of childbearing age within the state of Texas.”

Texas developed the regulations on fetal tissue disposal in 2016,  and the legislature passed the requirement as part of an anti-abortion bill in 2017.

The law required providers to bury or cremate fetal tissue, regardless of the patient's wishes. The law did not apply to miscarriages or abortions that happen outside a medical facility.

This federal judge’s decision comes as the U.S. Senate is selecting a new justice for the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Center for Reproductive Rights along with Texas abortion providers sued Texas over the fetal tissue law. Among others, the lawsuit was filed by Duane.

Elie Mystal, the executive editor of Above The Law, an online journal that covers the legal industry, also joins us on this program.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org or on Twitter @DavidMartinDavi

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi