Texas Gov. To Bypass Lawmakers With Anti-Abortion Rule

| by Michael Allen
Texas Gov. Greg AbbottTexas Gov. Greg Abbott

Soon after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted two major provisions in the controversial anti-abortion law in Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott proposed a new anti-abortion rule that will not need the approval of lawmakers.

Abbott called for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to propose a new fetal remain regulation that would require the burial or cremation of aborted fetuses, according to The Associated Press. The agency posted the proposed rule online on July 1 for public comment.

Abbott was outraged in May when President Barack Obama instituted new rules, without lawmakers' votes, to protect the rights of transgender students to use public school bathrooms matching their gender identities, noted Fox News.

At the time, Abbott said Obama was "turning the Constitution on its head" with the new rules, adding: "We are in the waning months of the Obama presidency, and he’s trying to cram down as many parts of his liberal agenda on the United States of America as he possibly can."

Ciara Matthews, a spokeswoman for Abbott, said the governor hopes his new fetal remain burial rule will later be passed into law, and added: "Governor Abbott believes human and fetal remains should not be treated like medical waste, and the proposed rule changes affirms the value and dignity of all life," according to AP.

Abbott has been in office since January 2015, so it is unclear why he waited until July 2016 to push for this rule that affirms the "value and dignity of all life."

"This is a new low for our state's leaders who are committed to making abortion inaccessible and shaming Texans who have an abortion," Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, said.

On June 27, the Supreme Court shot down a Texas abortion access law that reportedly would have significantly decreased the number of abortion clinics in the state.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, who is Donald Trump's vice presidential running mate, signed a bill into law on March 24 that included a similar fetal remain rule and blocked abortions per genetic abnormalities. However, a judge temporarily blocked the law.

On June 1, Ohio agreed to pay more than $45,000 to Planned Parenthood in June over the state's vague fetal remain rule.

Sources: The Associated Press via ABC News, Fox News / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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