In a recent article on Slate.com, pro-abortion writer Dahlia Lithwick lamented over Kansas’ dismemberment abortion ban, which was signed law earlier this month. The legislation bans the dismemberment variation of the Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) procedure that is used for most second-trimester abortions. In Kansas, abortions are generally allowed up to 22 weeks into a pregnancy, but this bill could ban abortions as early as 14 weeks post-fertilization.
Lithwick described the legislation like this: “The Kansas law, modeled on draft legislation from the National Right to Life Committee, bans so-called dismemberment abortions, defined in part as “knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus.”
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She continues, “In case anyone in Kansas were left unmoved, a dismemberment abortion is further defined as “knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”
Then she goes on to say that “dismemberment abortion” is a non-medical term and is the safest and least traumatic procedure for abortions after 13-weeks.
However, even abortion activists have described the D&E procedure as dismemberment abortions. For example, late-term abortionist Warren Hern wrote in a paper for the Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians what it feels like to perform an abortion in which he tears the baby apart, limb by limb.
He said, “[T]hose capable of performing or assisting with the procedure are having strong personal reservations about participating in an operation which they view as destructive and violent… Some part of our cultural and perhaps even biological heritage recoils at a destructive operation on a form that is similar to our own…We reach a point…where there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current…”
Another abortionist basically admitted that she was nothing less than horrified after witnessing her first D&E abortion. In fact, she was so traumatized by the experience that she decided to only perform earlier abortions.
She said, “Seeing an arm being pulled through the vaginal canal was shocking. One of the nurses in the room escorted me out when the colour left my face… Not only was it a visceral shock; this was something I had to think deeply about. Confronting a 21-week fetus is very different. It… cannot feel pain or think or have any sense of being, but the reality is, this cannot be called ‘tissue’. It was not something I could be comfortable with.”
Therefore, even if dismemberment abortion isn’t a medical term the abortion industry sure does see it that way. The truth of the matter is D&E dismemberment abortions are just as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States and which was upheld in the Supreme Court.
As LifeNews previously reported, National Right to Life points to the high court’s ruling in the partial-birth abortion case as grounds for banning dismemberment abortions too. Justice Kennedy observed what happens during a D&E abortion in his dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart decision.
He said, “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.” He also 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…”
Testimony provided by Kansans for Life emphasized that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ban on the partial-birth method of abortion in 2007 after two cases, Stenberg v Carhart and Gonzales v Carhart. In both cases, the Court closely examined both the partial-birth and D&E/ Dismemberment abortion methods and found them to be “brutal.”