Beginning December 19, the irrepressible state of Texas will require hospitals and abortion facilities to provide for the “interment” of the “products of . . . induced human abortion.” In normal English, Texas will now require abortion clinics to bury the babies they killed. Previously, state regulation required abortion facilities treat the remains like other medical waste, such as tissue that was removed in surgery.
And what seems a rather obvious requirement to so many Texans has the pro-abortion community—which exists in a near-constant state of outrage—fuming. Again.
Abortion advocates complain that the symbolism of the regulation is an effort to insert politicians’ “personal beliefs” into women’s health care decisions. The regulation certainly requires dead pre-born humans be treated like toddlers, teenagers, and senior citizens. Texas is recognizing that, at least for the purposes of burial, pre-born persons are equivalent to people with a birth certificate. Of course, this perception shouldn’t really be characterized as a “personal belief,” but more an observation of reality.
If Aborted Babies Deserve A Burial, They Deserve A Life
The law cuts through the sophistry that the pro-abortion community concocts to deny the obvious scientific reality that abortion is the premeditated killing of a living human being. Fetuses, prior to abortion, are 1) living, 2) human, and 3) separate persons. They’re not dead. They’re not clumps of tissue. And they have a physical and genetic existence separate from their mothers’. So they shouldn’t be treated like needles and bandages and tumors and ingrown toenails.
The glaring shortcoming—and irony—of the law is that it recognizes the dignity of pre-born humans after they’re dead, while failing to take the more important step of recognizing their humanity while they’re still living. But this is the sort of intellectual imbecility our current jurisprudence produces. The problem is that the Supreme Court has determined the pre-born have no meaningful rights, preventing Texans from using our traditional democratic processes to reach a consensus about what rights of pre-born persons should be recognized and protected.
Will the Roe v. Wade decision one day look like the Dred Scott case, the now-repudiated decision in which the Court determined that a slave had no meaningful rights? Many Texans had a visceral, reflexive reaction to what they saw in the Planned Parenthood videos last summer. They saw an abortion clinic owner joking about storing aborted fetuses in the freezer, putting them in a bonfire, and flushing them down the garbage disposal. But many see these as real, actual humans being aborted. Their humanity is undeniable. And we’re justifiably infuriated and in disbelief that any American could treat the weakest and most innocent of our society with such cruelty.
Will This Encourage More Conversations About Life?
Of course, public support for the new regulation isn’t going to determine whether it remains in place. Abortion advocates assert that the new Texas regulation imposes a costly obstacle for women seeking an abortion and have indicated they will challenge it in court. It’s impossible to know, at this point, whether such a challenge would work.
The constitutional question is whether the regulation would present an “undue burden” on the ability of the mother to obtain an otherwise-legal abortion. We will have to see how the state enforces the regulation and how clinics respond. How much will interment cost? Will the required interment cost more than the sterile waste disposal procedures currently in place?
The state, for its part, says the regulation won’t make an abortion cost more because it just changes the way it requires remains to be handled. Will the clinic pay that bill, or will it pass the cost on the mother? If to the mother, does the cost prevent her from obtaining an abortion? And if there’s a burden on the mother, is it “undue”? That answer largely depends on the preconceptions of the judge making the decision.
This regulation once again demonstrates we have a significant disagreement in this country about whether preborn persons have a right to life that should be protected, even against their mothers’ “right to privacy.” This isn’t a disagreement several Ivy League-educated, unelected lawyers should decide for the rest of us.