Doctors who perform certain types of abortions in Oklahoma would face up to two years in prison under a bill that has cleared a House committee.
An Olahoma state legislative committee has approved a groundbreaking pro-life bill, HB 1721, that would ban dismemberment abortions that tear babies limb from limb.
The House Public Health Committee voted 8-3 on Wednesday for the “Oklahoma Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.” Supported by the National Right to Life Committee, the bill would outlaw abortions in which doctors use forceps or other medical devices to dismember a living fetus in the womb.
Doctors who violate the proposed law would face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The bill now proceeds to the full House.
Earlier this year, in a move that it tells LifeNews.com will transform the landscape of abortion policy in the United States, National Right to Life announced a major new component of the right to life movement’s 2015 legislative agenda. The pro-life group says the wave of pro-life victories in the 2014 election helped set the stage for this first-of-its-kind legislation, which would protect unborn children from the brutality of dismemberment abortion.
Oklahoma and Kansas are the first two states to see the new dismemberment abortion ban targeting D&E abortions. D&E dismemberment abortions are as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States and which was upheld in the Supreme Court.
“Dismemberment abortion kills a baby by tearing her apart limb from limb,” said National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. “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.”
But would such an abortion ban be constitutional given the Roe v. Wade decision? The group points to the high court’s ruling in the partial-birth abortion case as grounds for banning dismemberment abortions too.
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…”
“When abortion textbooks describe in cold, explicit detail exactly how to kill a human being by ripping off arms and legs piece by piece, civilized members of society have no choice but to stand up and demand a change,” added Spaulding Balch. “When you think it can’t be uglier, the abortion industry continues to shock with violent methods of abortion.”