A federal appeals court upheld a block Wednesday on an Alabama law that would have protected unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit agreed with a lower court decision to block the law, according to the Alabama News Network.
“In our judicial system, there is only one Supreme Court, and we are not it. As one of the ‘inferior Courts,’ we follow its decisions… Our role is to apply the law the Supreme Court has laid down to the facts the district court found,” the court wrote in its decision.
A dismemberment abortion is performed on a nearly fully-formed, living unborn baby in the second trimester. 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/her heart is still beating.
Alabama lawmakers enacted a law banning the gruesome procedure in 2016, but two abortion businesses, the West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa and the Alabama Women’s Center in Huntsville, and the ACLU sued to stop it.
In its ruling Wednesday, the 11th Circuit Court deferred to Supreme Court decisions about pre-viability restrictions on abortion.
“The State has an actual and substantial interest in lessening, as much as it can, the gruesomeness and brutality of dismemberment abortions. That interest is so obvious that the plaintiffs do not contest it,” the court acknowledged.
“But the fact that the Act furthers legitimate state interests does not end the constitutional inquiry. The legitimacy of the interest is necessary but not sufficient for a pre-viability abortion restriction to pass the undue burden test,” the court continued.
It argued that the law creates an undue burden because most women who have abortions are poor and cannot afford other abortion methods, AL.com reports.
The decision upholds a federal judge’s order blocking the law in October 2017. The state appealed that ruling. It is not clear if Alabama will now appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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The dismemberment abortion ban has the potential to save hundreds of unborn babies in Alabama. In 2014, there were 594 abortions that occurred in the second trimester or later, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.
The dismemberment 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. Dismemberment abortion bans have been voted into law in Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Mississippi. Similar legislation has also been introduced in Pennsylvania, Minnesota , Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, Louisiana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
“Alabama children should be protected by law from being torn limb from limb,” said Bill Klein, president of Alabama Citizens For Life, previously. “No human should die this way in a civilized society. It shows a total disrespect for the sanctity of human life.”