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Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Texas Fetal Remains Rules

3 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, December 15 2016 Dec 15, 2016 December 15, 2016 3:03 PM December 15, 2016 in News

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge has blocked until at least next month Texas rules mandating burial or cremation for fetal remains that would have taken effect Monday.

Austin-based U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks granted a temporary restraining order sought by national advocacy groups. They sued to stop the Texas health department's new rules.

The rules would have banned hospitals and abortion facilities from disposing of fetal remains as biological medical waste, meaning they often end up in sanitary landfills.

Sparks delayed the rules until Jan. 6, when he expects to decide whether they should take effect thereafter.

Earlier legal challenges blocked similar measures in Louisiana and Indiana.

Texas first proposed the rules in July, just after the U.S. Supreme Court voided many of the state's larger restrictions on abortion.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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