Alabama is the latest state where a pro-life piece of legislation to ban dismemberment abortions is advancing. The law would follow on the heels of states like Kansas and Oklahoma as well as Mississippi and Louisiana — here bans have are been approved or are advancing through the legislature.
Yesterday, the state Senate approved SB363 Sponsored by Sen. Phil Williams, a Republican. Senators voted 30-2 for the measure, a companion of which has already been passed by a state House committee. Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman did not vote.
Cheryl Ciamarra, the head of Alabama Citizens for Life, told LifeNews she’s delighted by the vote.
“Alabama Citizens for Life appreciates the Senate Rules Committee Chairman Jabo Wagonner for making this a priority,” she said. “A conservative stalwart and leader for life, Senator Waggoner brought the matter up twice on the floor of the Senate to ensure it would be transmitted to the House of Representatives as time is running short in this legislative session with only four legislative days left.”
“It is encouraging that the House Health committee passed the house companion bill yesterday (HB 376 by Rep Mack Butler) so they should also pass SB 363,” Ciamarra added. “The question is whether impeachment process deliberations will take priority over life.”
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.
“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.”
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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.”
NLRC’s model is the law in four states: Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Mississippi. Similar legislation has also been introduced in Pennsylvania, Minnesota , Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, Louisiana, Rhode Island, and Utah.