Utah state Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, has introduced a bill that would prevent dismemberment abortion, a cruel method that rips the unborn baby limb from limb.
Utah House Bill 442 would end dismemberment abortions, including dilation and evacuation, suction and suction aspiration procedures, according to the Desert News. Physicians who insist on performing this brutal abortion method would be charged with a third-degree felony, the report states. The bill includes an exception in the case of a medical emergency.
Abortion advocates insist that the bill is a needless departure from the Constitution. According to the Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, this bill would incur an “undue burden on the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy before viability.” But the bill would not inhibit a woman’s ability to procure an abortion. Instead, it would simply end an unnecessarily painful and cruel death for her unborn child.
Dismemberment abortions present a horrific death for these children. National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. explained the realities behind this method: “Dismemberment abortion kills a baby by tearing her apart limb from limb. Before the first trimester ends, the unborn child has a beating heart, brain waves, and every organ system in place. Dismemberment abortions occur after the baby has reached these milestones.”
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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert would not say whether he would sign the bill into law if it reaches his desk.
“I’m pro-life. I have a problem with Roe v. Wade, but it’s the law of the land. So I’ll wait to see what the bill is, if it comes to my desk,” Herbert said. “We’ll weigh in as we believe is appropriate, but we will adhere to the law of the land.”
The West Virginia Senate recently passed a similar bill, LifeNews reported.
Some pro-lifers believe the bill could be upheld if challenged in court. LifeNews previously reported that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy could be a deciding voice on the issue:
In his dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart decision, Justice Kennedy observed that in D&E dismemberment abortions, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.” Justice Kennedy added in the Court’s 2007 opinion, Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion, that D&E abortions are “laden with the power to devalue human life…”
This bill would not impair a woman from having an abortion. Rather, this bill is about protecting unborn lives from the tragedy of having their limbs maliciously torn from their bodies.