Louisiana House Passes Bill to Ban Dismemberment Abortions Tearing Off Baby’s Limbs

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 28, 2016   |   4:31PM   |   Baton Rouge, LA

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. The Louisiana House 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.

The House approved HB 1081, the Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Act authored by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Bossier), which would protect unborn babies from the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortion. The legislation passed 83-0 (Rep. Ted James changed his vote afterwards).

The House also passed the Unborn Child Protection from Disability Discrimination Act authored by Rep. Rick Edmonds (R-Baton Rouge), which would protect unborn children who have been diagnosed with a disability in the womb from being singled out for abortion simply based on their status as disabled or potentially disabled. The legislation passed 75-1.

Deanna Wallace, Legislative Director for Louisiana Right to Life, stated after the votes: “While our mission is to protect protect both the mother and the unborn child, we cannot forget the fact that unborn babies are being dismembered, torn limb from limb, through abortion. We are thrilled the Louisiana House of Representatives, in a overwhelmingly bi-partisan fashion, took action to protect these vulnerable children through HB 1081. We believe the debate will change when our nation realizes the barbaric reality of abortion in America.”

Wallace continued, “In addition, HB 1019 protects those unborn children who have been diagnosed with a development disability. These diagnoses, which can be wrong from time to time, should not equate to a death sentence for an innocent, unborn child.”

Louisiana Right to Life looks forward to both pieces of legislation receiving a fair hearing in the Senate.

“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.”