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Federal Judge Blocks Texas' Fetal Burial Law

Gabriel C. Pérez

A federal judge in Austin has blocked Texas' so-called fetal burial law.

U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra voided the law, which the Texas Legislature passed in 2017, on the grounds that it violates the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

In his ruling, Ezra said the law, which required every health care facility in the state to provide a death certificate and proper burial for any fetal tissue, would create a "near catastrophic failure of the healthcare system designed to serve women of childbearing age within the State of Texas."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the state would appeal.

"My office will continue to fight to uphold the law, which requires the dignified treatment of fetal remains, rather than allow health care facilities to dispose of the remains in sewers or landfills," he said in a statement.

Austin-based Whole Woman's Health, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, tweeted that it was pleased the judge's decision would effectively block the law from going into effect.

This is a developing story.

Andrew Weber is a general assignment reporter for KUT, focusing on criminal justice, policing, courts and homelessness in Austin and Travis County. Got a tip? You can email him at Follow him on Twitter @England_Weber.
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