In two weeks, a new state rule on medical waste will take effect in Texas, meaning aborted fetal tissue must undergo “interment.”
From December 18, Texas hospitals and abortion clinics will no longer be permitted to place fetal tissue in sanitary landfills and instead will have to organize a burial of sorts. Although not an official law, the rule could be used to guide court procedures.
The Satanic Temple, which uses Satan as a symbol to promote secularism, has now denounced the rule for enforcing a “well-established component of religious practice.”
The group has already targeted the inclusion of religious practices in education and local government by setting up an “After School Satan Club” in Oregon and hailing the Dark Lord in a prayer at an Alaskan council meeting.
In a statement, the organization said government must provide a reason for advocating burial.
“Clearly, the State of Texas has no compelling reason because these rules were not enacted to promote health and safety, but rather to harass and burden women who terminate their pregnancies,” the group said.
The group has threatened legal action against the state “to protect the rights of our members.”
Abortion rights group, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, argues that Rule 1.136 does nothing but “impose an undue burden on Texans seeking abortion care.”
NARAL say health care providers and abortion clinics already work within the law to dispose of medical waste and claim the insistence on burial interferes with patient privacy.
“The addition of non-medical ritual to current clinical practice only serves to further interfere with a patient’s autonomy and decision-making in their own medical care,” the NARAL website states.
“These rules have absolutely no added benefit to women’s health and safety and are clearly an undue burden,” Hagstrom said.
She added that providing obstacles to safe abortion is “clearly unconstitutional”.