Federal Judge David Ezra of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] on Monday temporarily blocked [order, PDF] a Texas law requiring health facilitates and abortion clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains.
A stay on this law had been extended [JURIST report] by the court in January 2017 until January 29, 2018. The original complaint, brought by Whole Women’s Health [advocacy website], claimed that this new law would further enhance the stigma surrounding abortion.
During the 2017 session the Texas Senate passed SB 8 [law, text] for the purpose of “express[ing] the state’s profound respect for the life of the unborn.” This is the second time this law has been blocked. The judge found that the law is “void for
unconstitutional vagueness and for imposing an undue burden on women’s constitutionally protected liberty.”
Ezra granted each party 10 days to present their proposed trial days in order to determine whether the law should be blocked permanently.
The state of Texas plans to continue pursuit of this law. Attorney General Ken Paxton [official website] announced [press release] Monday, “My office will continue to fight to uphold the constitutionality of the new law, which simply prevents fetal remains from being treated as medical waste.”