(MEDIA ADVISORY) The Center for Reproductive Rights has submitted comments to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in response to the Abbott administration’s latest politically motivated and unconstitutional attempt to restrict a woman’s ability to access safe and legal abortion.
Specifically, the regulations—which were proposed only four days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’ clinic shutdown law after a legal challenge brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights— would force healthcare providers serving women who seek abortion, treatment for miscarriage, or removal of an ectopic pregnancy to bury or cremate the embryonic or fetal tissue resulting from these procedures, regardless of the woman’s personal wishes or religious beliefs. In addition to needlessly increasing the cost of reproductive healthcare services, such regulations also increase the shame and stigma surrounding abortion and pregnancy loss.
Notably, contrary to DSHS’s assertions, the regulations offer no public health or safety benefit and therefore fly directly in the face of the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt. As noted in the Center’s comments: “[l]ike the restrictions at issue in that case, the proposed amendments impose heavy burdens on women seeking abortion care and do not offer a proportional benefit, as required by the U.S. Constitution.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights is calling on DSHS to rescind the regulations in order to avoid “costly litigation for Texas—litigation state taxpayers can scarcely afford, after the state spent over $1 million, exclusive of attorneys’ fees, defending the abortion restrictions struck down by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health.” The comments also note that Governor Abbott recently sent a fundraising email to his supporters asking for money based in part on these very regulations
--thereby severely undercutting the state’s claims that these regulations have anything to do with protecting women’s health and safety.
“Texas politicians are at it again, inserting their personal beliefs into the health care decisions of Texas women,” said Stephanie Toti, Senior Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The Center for Reproductive Rights is prepared to take further legal action to ensure that Texas women can continue to access abortion and other reproductive healthcare without interference by politicians.”