Several states have already approved or are considering legislation to ban the dismemberment abortion technique — used to tear off a baby’s limbs during the abortion procedure during the latter portions of pregnancy. A Louisiana state House committee today approved the pro-life bill to ban dismemberment abortions.
Dismemberment abortion, performed on a fully-formed, living unborn baby, is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn child is literally ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces. The law embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee that would ban “dismemberment abortion,” using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a living unborn baby to remove him or her from the womb in pieces. Such instruments are used in dilation and evacuation procedures.
Mississippi was the latest state to approve legislation that would ban dismemberment abortions when earlier this month, pro-life Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law. Now, Louisiana has started the process of following suit. From a local news report:
The House Health and Welfare Committee passed a bill Wednesday (April 20) that will ban a type of abortion known as dilation and evacuation, or D&E, which is the most common type of second-trimester abortion.
But state Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Bossier City, the author of the legislation, called the practice “barbaric” because the method involves removing the fetus in pieces.
“This does not impose an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose,” Johnson said. “It’s about the public policy of our state. The question is, what do we want to stand for in this state? I don’t think barbarism is what Louisiana is about.”
House Bill 1081 now moves on to the full House.
“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.”
Supporters of the ban also point to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court Gonzales ruling, which said: “Casey [the 1992 Supreme Court decision] does not allow a doctor to choose the abortion method he or she might prefer …[and physicians] are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures.”