Miscarriage of Burden: Day 4

#Day4 of the Miscarriage of Burden: 12 Days of Education and Fundraising Against the Fetal Remains Rule. Today’s theme: yet one more burden for minorities and the economically disadvantaged
***In keeping with our mission to support ally and partner organizations with shared values, Pantsuit Republic is hosting a fundraising drive for Planned Parenthood at this link (https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Donation2…). This takes you to a ‘dead link’ for PP, that says ‘Gulf Coast region’ but was the most expedient way to track all Pantsuit Republic donations. Per the PP website and of particular relevance in our state – ‘Latinos face greater obstacles to obtaining, and benefiting from, sexual and reproductive health services compared to their non-Latino peers. As a result, Latinos experience higher rates of reproductive cancers, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections than most other demographic groups in the U.S.’***
Central to every aspect of the mission of Pantsuit Republic is a goal to project the narratives and protect the humanity of marginalized groups. To that end, today we revisit Governor Abbott’s Fetal Remains Rule and House Bill 201 from the perspective that this egregious executive decree and the legislative muscle that will follow disproportionately affect minorities and the economically disadvantaged.
While termination of pregnancy has declined overall in the last 30 years, women of color are five times as likely as white women to pursue this intervention. If class is the lens through which we view marginalization, across all races, low-income women have the greatest numbers of terminations. Given these figures, it becomes clear who suffers most from this political machination in the very personal choices women face when making these decisions about our bodies and our families.
To comply with this rule, minimum costs, per state health officials, would run $450 / year per health care facility, which sounds nominal. But, the President of the Board of the Texas Funeral Directors Association submits this grossly underestimates the costs of compliance, with cremation and burial running $100-$600 per specimen and easily thousands of dollars of labor for funeral services. While the rule does not mandate use of funeral homes, it does indicate that even after incineration, remains must be interred. Interment is defined in such a way that disposition by a funeral home and the attendant inflation of cost seems inescapable. Previously, it had been common practice for the funeral industry to provide charitable cremations in miscarriage for families opting for those services. Increased demand will likely render this financially unsustainable. We will fight this rule / bill not only because it has potential implications for us all as women but also because it unduly burdens the already marginalized. Committed to access and affordability of reproductive health care, our ally organization, Planned Parenthood, promises to fight with us. Help them help us (https://secure.ppaction.org/site/Donation2…).