The Pennsylvania Senate is considering a new bill to ban brutal dismemberment abortions and painful late-term abortions in the Commonwealth.
Similar to a state House bill introduced earlier this year, Pennsylvania Senate Bill 888 would ban brutal second-trimester abortions that involve tearing unborn babies limb by limb in the mother’s womb, Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, told LifeNews.
Gallagher called the bill a “critical piece of legislation” that would protect unborn babies from abortion in Pennsylvania. About 1,550 unborn babies are killed every year in Pennsylvania in horrific dismemberment abortions, sometimes called D&E abortions, she said.
“We hope that Governor Tom Wolf will rescind his previous veto threat and look at the Senate version with new eyes,” Gallagher continued. “A recent statewide poll showed that a majority of Pennsylvanians—including a majority of Pennsylvania women—support a ban on cruel dismemberment abortions.
“These types of abortions should not be permitted in a civilized society,” she said.
Wolf, who is pro-abortion, previously threatened to veto the House version of the bill in April. That bill, sponsored by state Rep. Kathy Rapp, would ban brutal dismemberment abortions and prohibit abortions after 20 weeks.
The new Senate bill, sponsored by state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Erie, also would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy when scientific evidence shows that unborn babies can feel pain. Gallagher said the legislation also would reflect the development of new technologies that are able to save babies at earlier and earlier stages of development.
The Pennsylvania Family Institute has more details on its blog:
In Pennsylvania, abortions are permitted as far into a pregnancy as 24 weeks and 6 days. At this stage a baby would likely survive on their own. This limit became law in 1989, at a time when doctors typically did not treat a baby born before 23-24 weeks because of the slim chance of survival. Thanks to medical advancements, premature babies are now surviving at record rates, premature babies like Lydia and Will, two children who were born prematurely and are now thriving!
The Dreistadt family said their 12-year-old son Will was born at 24 weeks and 6 days – the exact last day when abortion is permitted in Pennsylvania. Will weighed just over 1 pound, and he was so small that his parents’ wedding rings could fit around his arm. Despite a long hospital stay and six surgeries, the western Pennsylvania boy now is thriving.
“In PA, babies at the age of Will’s birth are able to be aborted even though they can survive outside the womb,” his parents Jason and Tammy said. “So many advancements in technology have been made since the writing of current Pennsylvania abortion laws, and even in the 12 years since Will was born! We can now even perform surgeries on unborn children.”
Rapp, the lead sponsor of the House bill, pointed out that some unborn babies are being aborted in Pennsylvania while others at the same stage of pregnancy are being saved with new life-saving surgical procedures at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“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.”
The House bill has not been voted on by the full chamber yet. In April, a state House committee passed the bill, but pro-abortion legislators made aggressive attempts to block it from a full vote in the House. Abortion activists even brought in some big names – Gov. Wolf and Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards – for a press conference opposing the bill.
A handful of states also have passed dismemberment abortion bans, which are the brainchild of the National Right to Life Committee.
The bill also 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.