BP #12 Texas Will Require Aborted Fetuses to be Cremated or Buried

Article Summary

This article discusses a newly-finalized set of rules regarding the disposal of aborted fetuses. Under these new rules, the fetuses must be either cremated or buried, no matter what stage of development they are in when the abortion takes place. The rule does not, however, apply to abortions performed at home.

Fetal remains are usually disposed of through sanitary waste services that incinerate or grind up medical material before sending it to landfills. Many Texas Republican officials spoke in favor of the new rules, saying things such as, “For far too long, Texas has allowed the most innocent among us to be thrown out with the daily waste. Life begins at conception.” However, people opposed to the rules said they are “‘An unnecessary burden and an intrusion’ on a woman’s personal beliefs.”

Ethical Analysis

Upon reading this article, many questions regarding autonomy arose. Autonomy, in a nutshell, is someone’s ability to act on their own self-governance, without influence from some external power. The Texas ruling to force women who wish to have abortions to bury or cremate the fetal remains seems to infringe on their right to act at their own will. In addition, women who oppose the ruling and opt to have an abortion at home are forced to give up the ability to have a safe abortions in medical facilities.

Another question, that was actually brought up in the article, is to what extent do people have control over biological material that is removed from their body? Is it right for the government to determine what happens to fetal material, or should it be up to the person who had the abortion? I think it should fall into the hands of the woman.



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