AUSTIN — A federal judge on Monday blocked a controversial state law that requires miscarried or aborted fetuses to be cremated or buried.
U.S. District Court Judge David Ezra of San Antonio issued a preliminary injunction that bars Texas officials from carrying out the law, which would have taken effect Thursday.
The case grew out of an earlier lawsuit, brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Whole Woman’s Health and other abortion providers, to challenge a regulation from the Department of State Health Services that said fetal remains must be buried.
Proponents of the law say it allows the state to ensure fetuses are not treated like other medical waste. Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, said if the law goes into effect, it won’t change how many women have abortions. But plaintiffs argue the law would increase the cost of abortion, making it less accessible for women.
Pojman said he thinks the law has a good chance of being upheld, despite Monday’s preliminary injunction.
“The federal courts in Austin typically do not uphold the laws regarding abortion passed by the Legislature, but we do have very good track record of these laws being sustained by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Pojman said.