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OPINION

Dignity for the 'Fetus' in Texas

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

In the wake of the Dallas police murders, Hollywood liberals such as Lena Dunham have chosen to target ... action movie posters. On social media, Dunham boosted a crusade to remove the gun from Matt Damon's hand in New York subway ads for the latest "Bourne Identity" movie.

Since the left insists on diverting attention from the coldblooded murder of Dallas policemen, let's turn instead to this other piece of Texas news that will put gun-hating, Planned Parenthood-boosting feminists like Dunham in the proper perspective.

Bobby Ross Jr. at the blog Get Religion recently noted an article in the Houston Chronicle titled "The costly economics of fetus disposal." Trouble-making conservative lawmakers in Texas are proposing a law requiring that "all fetal remains extracted at healthcare facilities ... be disposed of through burial or cremation, rather than sanitary waste disposal."

That cannot be allowed to stand. Chronicle reporter Lydia DePillis wrote a poorly disguised editorial that only made this faint nod to pro-lifers: "Proponents of the rule (say) it has to do with 'dignity.'" Then she immediately debunked it. "But like the now-overturned law known as HB-2, this would have a costly side effect as well."

The reporter equated fetal remains with fecal matter. "Disposal of medical waste, which can include human tissue as well as anything soaked in bodily fluids, isn't just like your typical curbside garbage pickup," she explained. But "for a clinic or hospital that carries out many procedures a day, it doesn't add much to the total price: Two companies the Chronicle called, Biomedical Waste Solutions and Cyntox, ranged between $50 to $100 for weekly pickup of one 28-gallon box."

Asher Price of the Austin American-Statesman reported on the daily disposal of "procedures" in a rather unforgettable way: "Current rules allow fetal remains, as with other medical tissue, to be ground and discharged into a sewer system, incinerated or disinfected followed by disposal in a landfill, or 'an approved alternate treatment process, provided that the process renders the item as unrecognizable, followed by deposition in a sanitary landfill.'"

Fetal remains can be "ground" like hamburger until they're "unrecognizable," and get discharged into a sewer or incinerated. Somehow, pro-lifers find this an affront to human "dignity."

DePillis implies this is a legislative prank, another "undue burden" on abortion access that judges must and will overturn. Burial or cremation is much more expensive. "Although aborted fetuses are smaller than a golf ball in the first trimester, cremation can still cost several hundred dollars: The Neptune Society in Houston says it charges $595 for cremating a baby. Burial is even more costly. Houston's Miller Funeral and Cremation Services says the fee for burying a baby is $2,695, plus the cost of a gravesite, which is currently about $400."

DePillis huffs to her pro-abortion conclusion: "If the rule goes into effect as planned, it may be that hospitals and abortion clinics find some solution to keep costs down, perhaps through negotiating bulk rates. But it's sure not going to make accessing abortion any easier."

Like Lena Dunham, DePillis has a strange moral calculus. A year ago, DePillis wrote an equally editorializing article for The Washington Post, touting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' filing a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration asking that the agency "prohibit humans from physically interacting with elephants in captivity, making the case that doing so is a preventable hazard that should be banned outright."

Circus elephants should be liberated. Unborn babies should be incinerated. That's the funhouse morality of the libertine left.

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