September 19, 2019 | 47° F

EDITORIAL: Only funeral needed is for these rules

New Texas legislation requires burial of fetus after abortion


Having an abortion is a difficult decision to make. Contrary to popular belief, women do not just get up and get abortions whenever they feel like, and abortions are not always a result of unprotected sex. Rather, the women who choose to have an abortion usually do so for a plethora of reasons, and more than half of them used some type of contraceptive while having sex. This is why the choice to have an abortion is something that is carefully thought-out. When women do choose to have an abortion, it can be because of many reasons including an inability to financially provide for a child, personal problems with a partner, the desire to not raise a child alone, the desire to focus on careers and school work, and so on. But whatever the cause is, each woman has their own reasons for having an abortion that are personal to them and make the otherwise difficult decision a little easier.

The state of Texas wants to make a woman's decision harder. Just this week, Texas created and approved a new set of laws that complicate the process of getting an abortion. According to these new rules, any healthcare facilities that perform abortions must also have other methods of disposing fetal remains instead of the usual method of disposing in sanitary landfills. Now women who have an abortion must either cremate or bury the remains. In essence, the woman who makes the decision to get an abortion must also give a funeral once her pregnancy is terminated.

Women who have miscarriages or abortions at home are not required to do this. So what does this say about the people implementing these laws?

Texas has a long history of trying to limit women's opportunity to have abortions. Whether these attempts included cutting off abortions after a certain number of weeks or blatantly defunding certain organizations, including Planned Parenthood, it is not hard to see that the lawmakers of Texas are not fans of abortion. These are the same people who advocate that “life begins at conception” and rally to defend the rights of the unborn. But that seems to be the only time lawmakers care about fetuses. Texas is ranked ninth in the nation in poverty and yet, ranked 45th in the nation in terms of welfare use. What does this mean? This means that the same people who are making cries of defending the unborn, against abortion and demand that women do not terminate their pregnancies are the same ones that do nothing to help these same women once the babies are born. So does this mean that for Texas, the unborn should be respected, but as soon as a fetus turns into a baby, it suddenly becomes the woman’s problem? Does Texas make these laws to make abortions more difficult to get just to abandon the fetus that they fought so hard to protect? Those who enforce these laws speak about respecting the “sanctity of life,” and yet do not do so themselves. This shows that it is not necessarily the life of the mother, child or fetus that these lawmakers care about, it is just the idea of abortion that is so problematic to them.

Requiring cremation or burial of a fetus after an abortion is merely disrupting the privacy of the woman who is getting an abortion. It makes the potentially already-difficult decision that much more invasive and complicated. For women who are already hesitant to get an abortion, it makes doing so a harder decision to make, just as Texas intended when implementing these laws. The costs for these processes are unclear, and yet the woman, who is already paying a hefty amount for the abortion, has to cover these costs. Imagine being a woman, already carrying the mental and physical strain of making this decision, being forced to pay for the burial of a baby she decided she didn’t want. But, of course, Texas won’t imagine this. Why should they, when they want to protect the unborn so badly?

The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 148th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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