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The Brief: Reproductive rights group sues over fetal remains ruling

The regulation, set to go into effect Dec. 19, will prohibit hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills.

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The Big Story

The Center for Reproductive Rights sued the state Monday after the latter's announcement that it was moving forward with a rule requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains. Here’s the story so far:

The Center for Reproductive Rights asked a U.S. district court to stop the Texas Department of State Health Services from enforcing the rule. The rule is slated to go into effect Dec. 19, and the center's lawyers are asking the court for a temporary restraining order to halt it from being enforced right away.

Center officials had threatened in August to take legal action if the regulation was implemented. However, according to Marc Rylander, a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the state “will continue to defend the safety and dignity of the unborn up to and as far as Supreme Court precedent will allow.”

The state and the center are battling just months after the U.S. Supreme Court upended the Texas legislature’s House Bill 2, ending requirements for abortion providers to comply with hospital standards such as minimum sizes for rooms and doorways and pipelines for anesthesia.

Under the rule, Texas will prohibit hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, instead allowing only cremation or burial of all remains — regardless of the period of gestation. Health officials clarified that the requirement does not apply to miscarriages or abortions that occur at home and said that birth or death certificates will not be required for “proper disposition.”

What We're Reading

(Links below lead to outside websites; content might be behind paywall)

Dallas' Allen West and other Trump loyalists downplay Russian meddling, amid growing outcry in Congress, The Dallas Morning News 

City unveils new office to aid immigrants, Houston Chronicle 

Comptroller Glenn Hegar cites ‘fiscal stresses’San Antonio Express News 

From Trump’s campaign to S.A.’s mayoral race, San Antonio Express News

U.S. officials to hear grievances; 9 districts oppose TEA special ed benchmark, Houston Chronicle 

Trib Events for the Calendar

•   Health Care and the 85th Legislature on Dec. 15 at UT Health Science Center San Antonio - Pestana Lecture Hall

•   Trivia Night on Jan. 8 at The Highball 

•   A Conversation with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Jan. 11 at The Austin Club 

•   A Conversation with the University of Houston's Renu Khator on Jan. 12 at The Austin Club

•   A Conversation with Reps. Dustin Burrows & Drew Darby on Jan. 19 at Howard College – West Texas Training Center

•   A Conversation with Sen. Kel Seliger & Rep. Brooks Landgraf on Feb. 17 at Odessa College – Saulsbury Campus Center

•   A Conversation with Reps. Senfronia Thompson & James White on March 31 at Prairie View A&M University – W.A. Tempton Memorial Student Center

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