A Kentucky bill to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions is one step closer to becoming law.
The state House passed the dismemberment abortion ban Monday in a 71-11 vote; it now moves to the state Senate, the AP reports.
State House Bill 454 would “prohibit an abortion on a pregnant woman that will result in the bodily dismemberment, crushing, or human vivisection of the unborn child” after 11 weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions would be allowed for medical emergencies.
State Rep. Addia Wuchner, who is sponsoring the bill, said dismemberment abortions are “brutal,” “cruel and gruesome” procedures that destroy living unborn babies, the Lexington Herald Leader reports.
“These lives are small and tiny but they are still human,” she told the AP.
Wuchner described how unborn babies are nearly fully formed when dismemberment abortions take place.
By 11 weeks, unborn babies already have fingers and toes, heartbeats and detectable brain waves. They can respond to touch, yawn, suck their thumbs and even show signs of being right or left handed.
The bill will “preserve the dignity of the DNA-designed fetus,” according to Kentucky Right to Life.
However, abortion activists complained the bill would outlaw a common second-trimester abortion procedure referred to as D&E. State health department data indicates 537 unborn babies were aborted in 2016 by D&E.
A spokesperson for the ACLU hinted that they may challenge the measure in court if it passes.
Here’s more from the Herald Leader:
The ACLU of Kentucky said the bill would bring government interference into the lives of women and points out that similar bans on abortions have been blocked by courts in five states — Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Alabama.
Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, predicted it will cost Kentucky taxpayers about $1 million to defend the measure from a possible lawsuit. …
Brian Shoemaker, assistant executive director of Kentucky Right to Life, said the bill is worded differently from other states that have run into legal problems with their ban.
“We are stressing that this does not outlaw abortions. We are just saying that this particular brutal type of procedure for abortions should be banned,” said Shoemaker.
Kentucky is one of several states considering a ban on inhumane dismemberment abortions. These types of abortions typically happen in the second trimester and involve tearing the unborn baby limb from limb while their heart is still beating.
A handful of states already have passed dismemberment abortion bans. In 2017, a federal judge blocked the Texas law, claiming it is unconstitutional. Planned Parenthood is involved in the lawsuit; however, the state is appealing.
The law made Texas the eighth state to protect developing preborn children from such a heinous act. Earlier in 2017, Arkansas enacted the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act joining Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
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.