Texas is back at it again with abortion shaming. As of December 18, the Texas Health Department will begin to “require clinics and hospitals to bury or cremate human and fetal remains,” according to Governor Greg Abbott.
The rules were proposed back in July, “with little notice and no announcement.” Previously, some states allowed cremation or burial, but Texas is the first to require such rituals in place of previous procedures for disposing of medical waste. While these changes are radical (and just plain absurd, if we’re being honest), they’re not all that surprising. This new requirement falls right in line with Texas’ track record concerning abortion rights, or rather, lack thereof.
This new requirement will likely add to the cost of abortion by adding funerary services to the bill. This cost will not only affect the patients, but also the clinics that offer these services. It’s an added step to the procedure that some clinics may not be able to take on.
All of this works to invade an intensely personal space. This is yet another political intrusion that works to shame those who seek to or have terminated a pregnancy. Granted, the rules do not apply to miscarriages or abortions that occur at home in order to ensure some level of respect towards a woman’s privacy. But miscarriages that happen in hospital will still be subject to these rules. And regardless, these new requirements haven’t been put in place for financial or health benefits, but rather what supporters of the law would choose to understand as a way to “treat fetuses with dignity.” But what this notion fails to address is that it ignores and chastises the beliefs of so many others.
One network, called Shout Your Abortion, is working to destigmatize abortion and allow an opportunity for “individuals talking about abortion on our own terms and creating space for others to do the same.” People are tweeting, sharing videos, creating art, and contributing in countless ways to this movement– a movement that works to undo the damage of rules like this new one in Texas. Turning an abortion into a funeral greater serves the purpose of condemning so many women for a choice that needs not be shamed.
As the Shout Your Abortion website states– “Abortion is normal. Our stories are ours to tell. This is not a debate.”
Featured image here.