An initiative aimed at ending a particularly gruesome method of abortion was introduced today in the Minnesota Legislature. The bill to ban dismemberment abortions has the strong support of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization.
H.F. 3849 is authored by Rep. Tara Mack, R-Apple Valley; S.F. 3487 is authored by Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point. The legislation, which has bi-partisan support in both chambers, would ban dismemberment abortions in the state.
Polling indicates that the majority of Americans oppose second-trimester abortion, including many who support abortion in general. Three states—Kansas, Oklahoma and West Virginia—have made the procedure illegal, and the governor of Mississippi is expected to sign a ban on the procedure into law next week.
“All abortions destroy the life of a developing human being, but dismemberment is outrageously cruel and needs to be stopped,” said MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau.
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In a dismemberment abortion, forceps with sharp metal jaws are used to grasp legs, arms and other parts of the developing baby in the womb, which are then twisted and torn away. This continues until the child’s entire body is removed from the womb. Because the baby’s skull has often hardened to bone by this time, the skull must sometimes be compressed or crushed to facilitate removal. Risks include incomplete abortion, cervical laceration and hemorrhage requiring hospitalization.
Dismemberment is the most common second-trimester abortion method and is used to abort unborn children as old as 24 weeks. Dismemberment is a type of dilation and evacuation or D & E abortion; 704 D & E abortions took place in Minnesota in 2014 (see Table 14), according to the Minnesota Department of Health. A medical illustration of the dismemberment procedure is available on the MCCL website.
“Halting this inhumane practice is something that most Minnesotans can agree on,” Rau added. “It’s time to end dismemberment abortions in our state.”