Democrats Fail to Block Pennsylvania Bill to Ban Dismemberment Abortions Tearing Off Babies’ Limbs

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 7, 2016   |   2:50PM   |   Harrisburg, PA

Calling it “the most extreme abortion ban in the country,” abortion activists and their politician friends tried to stop a vote on a pro-life bill in the Pennsylvania legislature this week.

Pennsylvania House Bill 1948, sponsored by state Rep. Kathy Rapp, would ban brutal dismemberment abortions that tear unborn babies limb from limb and prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when unborn babies can feel pain.

“In the state that’s leading the way for dramatic, life-preserving surgeries for the smallest lives, we’re going to end the inhumane practice of dismemberment abortions, which tears a living human being to pieces,” Rapp said in a new video message about the legislation. “We can do better than that, and Pennsylvania’s women and girls deserve better.”

A state House committee passed the bill on Monday, but the Philadelphia Inquirer reports pro-abortion Democrats tried to prevent a full House vote on the bill Wednesday. Arguing that the bill had been rushed through committee, they pushed to delay a vote on the bill until mid-June, but pro-life lawmakers struck down the effort, according to the report. The full state House is expected to vote on the bill early next week.



Pennsylvania Family Council explains why the bill is so important:

Advances in medical technology over the past quarter century have brought into greater clarity the human being growing inside its mother’s womb.  Pennsylvania leads the world in prenatal surgery, with one out of every four such surgeries worldwide being performed at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Recognizing that unborn child can feel pain by 20 weeks gestation and perhaps even earlier, and premature infants are more regularly surviving at younger ages, has given rise to House Bill 1948, which passed out of the House Health Committee on Monday, and is expecting floor action soon.

Sponsored by Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren) and nearly 100 other co-sponsors, this bill will end late-term abortions in Pennsylvania after 20 weeks gestation. This updates the 24-week standard set in the 1989 Abortion Control Act, long before many of these advances in life-saving technology existed.

“We are grateful to Rep. Rapp and the other sponsors of this important legislation, and we urge citizens across the commonwealth to join together in support of HB 1948,” said Michael Geer, President of Pennsylvania Family Council.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf promised to veto the bill. Wolf has close ties to Planned Parenthood and recently appointed one of its board members as his chief of staff. He also volunteered and donated to the abortion business.

Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania is describing the bill as “the most extreme abortion ban in the country,” but similar legislation already has become law in a number of other states.

The bill is modeled, in part, after the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has become law in 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

A handful of states also have passed dismemberment abortion bans, which are the brainchild of the National Right to Life Committee.

“The description sounds ghastly, uncivilized, and definitely inhumane. Yet it is a practice that takes place each year in Pennsylvania, killing an estimated 1,550 babies,” said Maria Gallagher of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

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. National Right to Life 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 Anthony 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…”

Action Item: If you are a resident of Pennsylvania, call your state representative and urge him or her to support House Bill 1948. You can find your state representative here: .