HB 1670 Passes in Texas – Women Will Now Have the Right to Retain Their Placenta
By Janet VanderZanden
Texas women can now have their baby, and keep their placenta too. HB 1670, known as the Texas Placenta Bill, passed in the Senate on March 26, 2015, with unanimous support (31-0), and will be signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott by mid-June.
The new law allows a woman to keep her placenta after the birth of a baby in any Texas hospital or birthing center. The new law will go into effect January 1, 2016, and is a major win for personal liberty, informed consent, and choice for Texas women.
Currently, Texas classifies placentas as medical waste, and every hospital in Texas has their own individual policy regarding the release of a placenta. This policy differs drastically, even among hospitals in the same city. Some hospitals simply require the mother to sign a release of liability form, and others require an expensive, and time consuming court order signed by a judge (or can only be released to a funeral home). Some hospitals simply refuse to release the placenta all together.
Many women and families choose to retain their placenta after birth for various reasons. Some women choose to consume their placenta, most often in a dehydrated encapsulated pill form, after birth to help in their postpartum recovery. Families also retain their placenta to plant a tree in honor or memory of their baby, or part of a ceremonial practice, or keep for other personal use. Regardless of what any woman wants to do with her placenta after the birth of her baby, it is now her choice.