Texas abortion clinics may soon be required to bury or cremate fetal remains. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission published the new rule in the Texas Register on July 1.
There is a 30 day period for public comment, but the Health and Human Services Commissioner will have the final say. The rule could go into effect in September.
The commission's spokesperson says the rule is "to ensure Texas law maintains the highest standards of human dignity."
Pro-life activists told KENS 5 this is a step in the right direction.
"I think anywhere in the nation when you have a deceased loved one, you wouldn't want them to become medical waste or a specimen to be donated. You'd want to see that their rights were respected," said Kellie Gretschel, executive director for San Antonio Coalition for Life.
Pro-choice advocates, however, said the rule is unnecessary.
Mara Posada, director of communications for Planned Parenthood of South Texas released the following statement to KENS 5:
"We need to respect each woman's ability to make the deeply personal decision to have an abortion and allow her to make this decision in accordance with her family, her faith and her doctor. It is not our place to judge what any woman should do.
There are already laws that require safe tissue disposal, and we follow them. Planned Parenthood handles medical tissue just as other licensed, reputable health care providers do."
Governor Abbott's office also said that he supports the new rule and hopes that the new legislature will consider turning the rule into state law.