Texas lawmakers passed a bill Friday to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions.
The bill passed the state Senate in a 22-9 vote on Friday, an approval of changes that state House lawmakers made last week, Dallas News reports. Next, the bill will head to pro-life Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature.
Texas Senate Bill 8 prohibits dismemberment abortions, a method typically used in the second trimester to kill nearly fully-formed, living unborn babies. It is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn baby is ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces while his or her heart is still beating.
State Sen. Charles Schwertner, who wrote the bill, said the legislation will “ensure the dignity and protection for the unborn child” in Texas.
Texas Right to Life celebrated the vote on social media, describing it as a “pro-life victory.”
VICTORY: Senate passes motion to concur w/House Amds, including life-saving Dismemberment Abortion Ban, on 22-9 vote! Heading to Govs desk. pic.twitter.com/cEnrDQdmx6
— Texas Right to Life (@TXRightToLife) May 26, 2017
Here’s more from the report:
The bill bans two procedures that anti-abortion advocates call “dismemberment” and “partial-birth” abortions.
Prohibiting “partial-birth” abortions is a priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. It refers to a late-term procedure prohibited by federal law. Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Sunnyvale, said it’s necessary to enact a statewide ban so authorities can enforce it.
Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, added an amendment to the measure that would ban “dismemberment” abortions, a non-medical term that providers worry could include dilation and evacuation, a standard late-term procedure.
The bill also would ensure that the bodies of unborn babies who are aborted are treated with dignity by requiring that they be cremated or buried.
Abortion activists have been lobbying against the bill. Dallas News reports the Center for Reproductive Rights recently sent a letter to Gov. Abbott urging him to veto the bill and threatening to sue.
“The Center for Reproductive Rights vows to battle any unconstitutional measures in the courts until the rights of Texas women are respected and protected,” the pro-abortion group warned in its letter.
The dismemberment abortion ban embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee that would prohibit “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 typically are used in dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures.
Dismemberment abortion bans also have been voted into law in Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana. The laws in Mississippi and West Virginia are in effect, but other states are battling legal challenges.