Texas, trying desperately to restrict abortions, requires fetuses, no matter how advanced, be treated differently from other medical waste, and given a proper burial

Last June the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas laws that would have placed severe restrictions on abortion clinics in that state—laws that were intended to limit access to abortions by severely reducing the number of qualified clinics. (The law made clinics conform to standards of “ambulatory surgical centers”.) In response, the woman-controlling Texas legislature has now done an end run around the decision. At the end of last month, they approved a new regulation that fetuses, unlike other forms of medical waste, must be buried or incinerated like a human body, regardless of the stage of abortion. As the New York Times reported:

According to the rules, aborted fetal tissue must be handled like a deceased person and treated “using the process of cremation, entombment, burial, or placement in a niche or by using the process of cremation followed by placement of the ashes in a niche, grave, or scattering of ashes as authorized by law.”

Here are the new regulations, showing the unwarranted distinction between fetuses and other forms of medical waste, including body organs:


screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-10-07-21-am

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-10-06-02-am

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-10-06-30-am

And fetuses? See below, and here it is in larger type:

 (B)The products of spontaneous or induced human abortion shall be subjected to one of the following methods of treatment and disposal:

(i)fetal tissue, regardless of the period of gestation, except as provided by §1.133 of this title (relating to Scope, Covering Exemptions and Minimum Parametric Standards for Waste Treatment Technologies Previously Approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services):
(I)incineration followed by interment;
(II)steam disinfection followed by interment; or
(III)interment;

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-10-06-50-am

In other words, fetuses, even if very early in development, must be buried as if they were humans.  This can only reflect the view that a fetus, no matter how far along, is equivalent to an already-born human.  That, of course, is a religious view, but it also makes more trouble for abortion clinics, which must now cover the extra expense of burial or cremation/burial. Will the patient be required to pay more to cover these costs?

Further, it’s palpably clear that this rule is meant to shame women who have had abortions, forcing them to treat their fetuses as if they were their already-born children. That is clearly a psychological burden: “My fetus is going to be buried like a person.”

There is no medical or biological justification for treating aborted fetuses differently from animal carcasses (after all, we are animals) or from organs removed from people. The only justification is a religious one, and Texas just can’t stop trying to put obstacles in the way of women seeking abortions.

Donald Trump has already sworn to ensure that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, placing abortion laws back in the hands of the states—and you know what that means.  The only consolation is that the Supreme Court voted 5-3 to overturn the Texas law in the first place, and a new Trump appointee won’t change that balance. But several of the Justices are old, and it’s likely that Trump will get another appointment even if he has only one term.

A late addition: reader Pliny The in Between has a cartoon editorial comment on the new Texas law at his/her site:

toon-background-001

 

86 Comments

  1. Posted December 3, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I should point out that the law does not differentiate between abortion and miscarriages. So, yes, the remains of a miscarriage have to be cremated.

    Even further, the law does not differentiate between any fetal material. So technically, the placenta has to be cremated too.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Therefore, not very well thought out via Texass thinking. I think they should go for burying every placenta with clergy and all.

      • Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        “I think they should go for burying every placenta with clergy and all.”

        That would be one way of getting rid of clergy.
        But, shouldn’t the clergy be cremated also?

  2. Posted December 3, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Once again, Christian bookstore legislation for social services. I thought government interference in the lives of American citizens was taboo among the free-market-corrects-all mavericks?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      In most states and several members of the court there is no distinction between religion and government. Just ask a question and see which book they refer too. It won’t be a law book.

    • gluonspring
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      LOL

    • Posted December 3, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Not to mention, who pays for all these cremations/burials? Surely they can’t force a private citizen to pay, which means the right is willing to waste tax dollars on this. I thought Rs were supposed to be against wasteful spending.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    What about the placenta? Can someone please think of all the placentas! 🙂

    • Darren Garrison
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I can never think of placentas again without thinking of a certain scene from an episode of the British TV series Misfits:

      (Sorry in advance if the video imbeds–I don’t know how Jerry has it set up to handle Youtube links in comments.)

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know how to show you without it becoming a link, but a cryptic way to illustrate the code is:

        type then a name then

        • Mark Sturtevant
          Posted December 3, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Well, damn, that didn’t work either. Sorry, but I give up.

      • rickflick
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        See da roolz #16, Linking to videos.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      There are all kinds of fun stuff you can do with a placenta: http://www.boba.com/blog/placenta-tree-pill-print-practice — bury it, eat it, make art with it. The possibilities are endless.

  4. GBJames
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    They are nothing if not relentless.

  5. tubby
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, I’m supposed to fish through blood and waste in the toilet to try to locate a fetus while I’m miscarrying because Texas thinks it should go in the hospital’s incinerator rather than flushed? Also, countdown to some religious group suing on the grounds that an incinerator isn’t proper cremation.

    • Posted December 3, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Oh, your last sentence is bound to happen. I don’t think even the lawmakers would’ve considered a hospital incinerator sufficient. The point of this rule is to try to make the embryo seem as person-like as possible.

  6. Lamar Hankins
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Here is what I wrote about this in August (before the rules were finalized)in the Texas Observer: https://www.texasobserver.org/op-ed-fetal-tissue-dshs/

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Your article shows just how ridiculous and unconsidered this law is. imo, it proves that the law was introduced to force clinics etc to stop providing abortions, and to add to the emotional distress of women.

      This law may also increase health insurance costs in Texas. This law will also affect the thousands of women who have spontaneous abortions each year. The cost of these will skyrocket, and presumably become part of the cost of miscarriage. The guilt burden the Texas legislature is deliberately adding to women who choose to have an abortion will also be added to those who have a spontaneous abortion.

      Couples that desperately want children but where the women has a tendency to miscarry may be forced to NOT have children because they have debt from several miscarriages to cover.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        As someone who has endured snide remarks about not having kids for about 20 years now and just got another one slung at me last week by a co-worker, i say all women in Texas refuse to reproduce!! Join the rest of us “selfish” women!

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          I’ve always wondered how exactly women who don’t have children are being selfish. Who exactly are they being selfish towards? It makes no sense.

          • Grania Spingies
            Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I’ve never understood that one either. Is it selfish that I contribute a full rate of tax to the Revenue coffers with no offspring-related deductions or benefits in return?

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            Oh we’re living the good life as you and I do, Heather! Eating bon bons, spending loads of the money we don’t have to spend on children and generally engaging in all sorts of debauchary. We’re sort of like the women who weren’t married by 30 back in the day.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted December 3, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

              If everybody engaged in as much sexual debauchery as I do, the human race would be extinct in a generation! 🙂

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 3, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

                Ha ha me too but I do enjoy a good bon bon.

          • Carl
            Posted December 3, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Who exactly are they being selfish towards? It makes no sense.

            Think like the person making the statement and it’s obvious – it’s selfish toward the souls who, but for you, would have been born.

            This pseudo-problem also harries some of our modern non-religious ethicists.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted December 3, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

              Yeah, I’ve heard that argument. But if the soul is assigned at conception, like all the anti-choicers say, then what’s with the millions of spontaneous abortions, most before a woman even knows she’s pregnant? God has a lot to answer for with that one. I say they should be spending their time praying to God to eliminate miscarriages. There are millions more of them every year.

              • rickflick
                Posted December 3, 2016 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

                Maybe there’s a micro filter that catches the souls and they get put back into new sperm and eggs.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

                Ha! Yeah. Now they have to explain why that filter only works for the foetuses God aborts.

              • Pliny the in Between
                Posted December 4, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

                FYI: The Pope has explained the science behind the quickening

                http://pictoraltheology.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-science-of-quickening.html

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted December 4, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

                Just as I assumed – I don’t get it! It must be that demon occupying my sinful atheist soul that prevents me from recognizing the Glory that is God!

                There are metaphysical hands over my eyes, and fingers in my ears. Wait a minute – that’s four hands – now I can’t rest until I know whether demons have extra arms, or there are two demons possessing me.

                I know they don’t have enough hands to cover my mouth as well though. What a relief!

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

                Ha, ha! Love the way the little halos pop off at insertion. 😀

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

              “This pseudo-problem also harries some of our modern non-religious ethicists.”

              Which I find infuriating. They tend to all be men, too.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted December 4, 2016 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

              Certainly, there are ethical issues to be hashed through — primarily by a woman and her doctor — on which professional ethicists may wish to weigh in, too. But if they’re nonreligious ethicists, those issues have nothing to do with “souls.”

          • reasonshark
            Posted December 4, 2016 at 4:23 am | Permalink

            I thought it was a reference to group loyalty: to some people, raising a family and carrying on the line/group/species/etc. is THE purpose in life, practically a social duty (especially for women). Ergo, anyone who declines reproduction is not committed to social loyalties and is thus only committed to themselves.

            Then again, I once encountered someone online who seemed to think that one person choosing not to reproduce is akin to choosing to drive the human species extinct in, I paraphrase, “a population death spiral”. Logic is not this movement’s strong point.

            • Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

              Logic is not this movement’s strong point.

              You’ve got that right. This same movement constantly talks about how wondrous it is to have a litter of children at home. If raising kids is the best thing in the world, isn’t it selfish to gratify oneself in this way while disregarding the scarcity of resources if we continue to overpopulate the planet?

              And, at what point do you get to allocate excess resources (if you are foetunate enough to have them) to some of the pleasures of life like travel and culture? Of course, I am well versed in the response to this question, having grown up in this type of environment. You should be fruitful and multiply with as many children as God allows if finances are no concern (and sometimes even if they are).

          • Posted December 5, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            I think traditionally the crazy idea is that they would be regarded as selfish to their husbands, but we can all see that just moves the bump under the rug.

            Think of all those monarchs in Europe (and China!) trying desperately to have children – especially sons.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted December 5, 2016 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

              Well presumably they discussed children before they married, and the man had a choice, so I don’s see that one either, though I do agree that there are people who think that.

      • somer
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Great points – so many ramifications to this but they don’t give a damn about actual born human beings.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Damn, Lamar, I haven’t read that much about fetuses and ovens since “A Modest Proposal.”

      Those last couple paragraphs in your piece — Lamar Hankins can’t say that, can he?

      • tubby
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        I have a picture of my serving suggestion for human fetus, but I think PCC-E might not want me posting that.

  7. Darren Garrison
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, someone out there is plotting (so to speak) to make a killing (so to speak) selling grave plots that are six inches square. Or maybe making a mausoleum from a repurposed card catalog.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      I was thinking matchbox size coffins.

      • Carl
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Can’t resist:

        When Jerry Falwell died, Christopher Hitchens famously said, “You could give the corpse an enema and bury it in a matchbox.”

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Love it!

          Though personally I’d have just thought it and not said it.

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I sent an email to PCC about this and included the link to this gruesome, disgusting video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VN8cSorIC0 of the anti-abortion activist priest from Texas, Fr. Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life, preaching a sermon over an aborted foetus that’s placed right on the altar, prominently visible throughout his 44+ min. peroration. Perhaps wisely, PCC did not mention this or link to this here, but I’m giving the link here because I think it’s something people should to see — just what lengths these anti-abortion folk will go to. One needs only to see the first few seconds to “get the picture.”

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Also based on the first few minutes of this video this guy should be losing his 501(c)(3) tax exemption. If the IRS would just do their job, idiots like this would be out of a job.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        +1. That they should vote Republican is also written below the video, making their intentions quite clear.

        Using such a developed foetus is also dishonest because almost all abortions are carried out well before this time. Around 90% are in the first trimester.

        I think he should have done this over a 4-week foetus, which would look more like a fly speak on his white cloth.

        This is a very sick man. I can just imagine him marching off to the polls full of fervour, and the self-righteous smugness with which he voted for the dreadful Donald.

    • Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Wow. I wonder, how did he get this fetus?

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    All of you fertile, sexually active women in the Lone Star state, take good care of your monthly maxi-pads, give ’em a proper Christian burial, ’cause ya never know, one might contain an unimplanted zygote … er, I mean, “a person.”

  10. madscientist
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh Dog, I wonder when Texas will get around to requiring fetal consent for an abortion. Has anyone informed the Texas legislature that they’re as progressive as the Taliban and share many of the same views on abortion and womens’ rights?

    • Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      I keep telling antivaxers that they must have borrowed their views on immunization from the Taliban, but nobody has been shamed so far :-(.

    • reasonshark
      Posted December 4, 2016 at 4:26 am | Permalink

      I refer you to the first rule of moral sociodynamics: “It’s all right when we’re the ones doing it, ’cause we’re the good guys.”

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Donald Trump has already sworn to ensure that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, placing abortion laws back in the hands of the states …

    Like much of what drools out of the Donald’s pie-hole, his position on abortion is incoherent. In his 60 Minutes interview, Trump said that, once he has his way, women will still be able to get all the abortions they want, some will just have to travel out of state to rip their babies from their wombs. (I paraphrase only slightly.)

    But what the right-to-life movement expects from him isn’t a program promoting interstate travel. They want an end to abortion. They see sending the matter to the states as a fist step, as means of forcing impoverished pregnant women, the ones who can’t afford to travel out-of-state to terminate their pregnancies, to bear unwanted children.

    • Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      I know little about US institutions, but I strongly suspect that the President cannot tell the Supreme Court what verdict to issue. Otherwise, I can think of two presidents after Roe v. Wade who would be happy to overturn it if they could.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        The Prez can’t tell ’em, but gets to pick ’em.

        There are three justices now on the Court who would probably vote to overturn Roe v. Wade (although the Right is nervous that CJ John Roberts will waffle when push came to shove), and soon there’ll be a fourth. If Trump gets one or two more, the constitutional right to privacy could be history.

        Justices Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Breyer — ages 83, 80, and 78, respectively — will be playing against the clock for the next four years.

        • Posted December 3, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          “Justices Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Breyer – ages 83, 80, and 78, respectively – will be playing against the clock for the next four years.”

          There was such a Justice in Grisham’s “Pelican Brief”. I didn’t suspect that life would imitate literature so much.

        • Diane G.
          Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

          My favorite cartoon from the Alito confirmation hearings:

          http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/store/add.php?iid=12241

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      In the same interview he said same-sex marriage was settled law because of the Supreme Court ruling.

      Why is it settled for marriage but not abortion?

      Of course, expecting Trump to be anything other than inconsistent and hypocritical is a waste of time.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Doctrinally, the two cases are indistinguishable. Plus, Roe has been around for 43 years, whereas Obergefell was decided just the term before last.

        There are, nonetheless, prudential reasons why the doctrine of stare decisis — essentially, that a thing decided should be left alone — should be applied more stringently in Obergefell (although it would, of course, be a mistake to impute such subtle analysis to Donald Trump). Many same-sex couples have gotten wed, and arranged their futures together, in reliance upon Obergefell. Overruling it now would foment chaos.

      • tubby
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        He statement is probably due to court make up. If/when he gets three conservative justice nominations through who they are confident would overturn Obergefell then they will change their tune about whether or not it’s settled. That they think Roe v Wade is overturnable now means they think it can be done with the one nomination he has now and the right case. It also depends on if they feel they can work the right case through for Obergefell. They’ve been working for decades to create the one for Roe v Wade. It’s part of what the TRAP laws are supposed to do, and probably part of the reason behind the Texas Fetuses Are People Too law.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          It’ll take at least one more appointment, in addition to the current opening, to overrule Roe v. Wade.

          Justice Scalia was for years the most adamant voice on the Court calling for the outright overturning of Roe (as opposed to its piece-by-piece dismantling that some other conservative justices favored). Since they couldn’t get it done with Scalia, they won’t be able to do it with his replacement.

          If Trump gets another appointment, all bets are off.

  12. alexandra Moffat
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Many many pregnancies fail naturally early on without anyone being aware. What’s Texas going to do about that? The possibilities are horrible to contemplate.

    • Blue
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      And “without anyone being aware,” Ms Moffat et al Readers, re those half – a – bambinas / – os … …

      … … how’ll Lone Star Rangers round up and lasso in over to their said incineratin’ campfires, say,
      ALL of that – thar spilt (by way of ‘hands’ or whatever other means) gametal, er, ha’ploidy –
      spermatozoa and, for that matter as well, ALL of those monthly menses’ sloughed haploidy – babies’ remains ? !

      oto’h’ and seriously, .this. legislation NEEDS, under .this. federal SCOTUS and before too much more time passes on by upon its enactment therein the State of Texas, a court case – challenge.

      Like nearly right away. For, if it got that far, with Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan. Could Harvard Law graduate and former Texas Senator W Davis / her Posse – o’ – Boots (rr, pink sneakers) take this ‘ne on ? Now ?

      Blue

  13. Posted December 3, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    This, like everything else related to pregnancy, should be a matter of choice by the pregnant woman.

    In my country, laws until recently were brought to the opposite extreme. Aborted, miscarried and stillborn fetuses were taken away by the hospital and incinerated as medical waste, regardless of the mother’s wish. Last year, this was changed by the efforts of an activist whose daughter died in utero in the 24th week. She campaigned under the slogan “Our children are not biological waste”, and she declined an interview with a reporter who used the word “embryo”.

    Mothers in her situation can now take the dead fetus and manage its cremation or burial. Her blog post, advising such loss parents how to navigate the red tape, contains an interesting remark:

    “If you choose a burial, keep in mind that at this stage it is not possible to bury the baby with a Bulgarian Orthodox Church memorial service…”

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, the RCC doesn’t know what to do with the souls of the unbaptized, either — what with the concept of Limbo having been relegated to Purgatory.

      • Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Our Orthodox church says that the souls of aborted (and, by extension, miscarried and stillborn) fetuses would go to Heaven and become angels. However, I see absolutely no theological justification for such a claim. We have no Limbo/Purgatory, so any unbaptized soul belongs to Hell. Actually, this is why Christian new parents are allowed to call the priest urgently at any time of day or night to baptize their newborn if he doesn’t fare well, and in an emergency even a lay person can do the job. (Normally, babies are baptized 40 days after birth.)

        Our folklore includes a belief that souls of unbaptized babies turn into evil spirits that harm pregnant women, babies and new mothers. Some even identify them with a particular bird species, the Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata).

  14. ChrisKG
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    That title is missing a comma after the first word.

  15. Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    In most countries, you can authorize use of the body of a deceased relative (or your own, for that matter) for medical, research or teaching purposes by the appropriate institutions. Maybe Texas women making abortions could use this path to donate the remains of their fetuses.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Planned Parenthood had a program for donating fetal tissue for medical research — caught hell for it, too, they did.

      This was the subject of the bogus undercover videos that became such a cause célèbre for the American right wing last year.

  16. Heather Hastie
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    In New Zealand people get to choose whether they want the hospital to deal with any body tissue, or take it themselves. I don’t know how long this has been law, but it’s been decades.

    It’s mostly because of Maori cultural practices where removed limbs have to be buried with the body, and also the requirement to bury the placenta.

    Some cultures also require the placenta to be cooked and eaten. These days, it’s sterilised, dried, ground, and put in capsules instead. Apparently it’s very high in iron, and other necessary trace minerals.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      My dad had to sign a bunch of papers to okay the use of his tumour in research. I kind of wished I got to see my tumour; I always just imagine what it must’ve looked like. I always keep extracted teeth and even have the big canine my dog had to have removed after she destroyed it dragging her giant bed around the house.

    • Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      If I am giving birth and starving, I’d consider eating the placenta. Otherwise… I wonder how one can be conscious during birth and immediately afterwards and still be ready to eat tissue that comes out of the vagina. Yes, it is high in iron… but so is e.g. menstrual blood, which nobody consumes. The Maori have more common sense.

      From Dr. Tuteur’s blog:

      “The anthropological literature dates the first sighting to an indigenous group of California homebirth advocates (I kid you not). In Consuming the inedible: neglected dimensions of food choice, MacClancy and colleagues report:

      “In association with the natural childbirh movement from the 1960’s placentophagia was taken up in some ‘Western’ societies, especially in California, on the basis that it was ‘natural’, as ‘all’ mammalian species eat the placenta. The problem with this is that not all mammals are regularly placentophagous and our closest primate relatives also are not placentophagous… [M]odern placentophagia is based on an inaccurate idea of making the human birthing process more ‘natural’.””

      http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/06/unnatural-childbirth-5-goofy-things-that-natural-parenting-advocates-do-that-never-occur-in-nature.html

      • somer
        Posted December 3, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Re the placenta eating natural childbirth advocates. Reminds me of the Western whitey “feminists” who advocate breast feeding offspring right through childhood because its supposedly more caring and non western communities. Or those similar sorts who advocate attachment parenting because its supposedly more “caring” and some strictly agrarian communities practising arranged marriage and grossly unequal gender status do it. Fabulous new way to oppress women (and in a western environment literally infantilise kids) simultaneously.

        Some people in some other communities only do it because they don’t have (or aren’t allowed) contraception and continued breastfeeding is a contraceptive all in aid of some ever present more important higher cause (real or imaginary)

        • somer
          Posted December 3, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          sorry last line should be replaced with:
          Some people in some other communities only do continued breastfeeding because they don’t have (or aren’t allowed) contraception and they want to space births. Classically this applies to hunter gatherers but other communities too. Some time ago the Ayatollah in Iran decreed women must continue breastfeeding to reduce fertility.

          Long Continued Breastfeeding is an ongoing contraceptive. Some in the west with access to contraceptives practising it in aid of some ever present more important higher cause (real or imaginary)

      • Darren Garrison
        Posted December 4, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        “I wonder how one can be conscious during birth and immediately afterwards and still be ready to eat tissue that comes out of the vagina.”

        Well, technically, all the mammal meats we eat comes out of a vagina. Just some later than others. 🙂

        As for weird things to do with a placenta, there is a trend now among the hipster yuppies (or insert whichever label you prefer) to not cut the umbilical cord, leaving the baby attached to the placenta, then lugging around the placenta along with the baby until the umbilical naturally detaches. No, I am not making this up.

        • Posted December 4, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Yes, the so-called “Lotus” stuff. Dr. Tuteur writes against it in the same post.

    • Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      I was wondering when we might get to this concept in the U.S. If unborn or aborted fetal tissue must be treated as human remains and cremated/buried, why then are not human arms, legs, breasts, tumors, bones, results from blood tests, or needle aspirations, (any and all human elements,)et al dealt with in the same manner? Think of all the business that would be generated. Think of all the increased burial grounds, mausoleums, etc. to take up space on the Earth.

  17. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Just no telling what Trump will do on this issue but you know what Pence wants. Trump is too busy taking calls from Taiwan and Pakistan and pissing other countries off. It’s like taking a kid out of second grade and signing up for graduate school.

  18. Posted December 3, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Worrying times for abortion rights in the U.S. now, probably going to set them back decades!

  19. rickflick
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    While the law is disgusting, it seems to me a creative abortion clinic could handle the requirements of the law fairly easily. Simply provide a small kiln in the back room and scatter the ashes out the car window on the way home in the evening. Or is there something in the law that requires more elaborate processing?

  20. Posted December 4, 2016 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Don’t worry, Satan is already on the case: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rt.com/document/58430bc5c4618865758b45ef/amp?client=ms-android-verizon

  21. Posted December 6, 2016 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    America should have heeded the wisdom of Cinderella (the hair metal band) when they sang to us, “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till it’s Gone)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i28UEoLXVFQ

    So much suffering, heartbreak, and pain could have been avoided if we had only listened. On a serious note, those who were born after the fight for Civil Rights for African-Americans and women have obviously taken these liberties for granted. I have a feeling they will have their complacency challenged the next four years.


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