Alabama wants the U.S. Supreme Court to allow it to ban brutal dismemberment abortions that tear living unborn babies limb from limb while their hearts are beating.
On Tuesday, state Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a notice asking the high court to consider its defense of the 2016 law, LifeZette reports.
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 the “Alabama Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act” to ban 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, sued to stop it.
In August, a federal appeals court upheld an order prohibiting the state from enforcing the law.
Now, state leaders are turning to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The constitutionality of a state ban on dismemberment abortion is an important question of national significance,” lawyers for the state wrote in their filing to the high court. “Litigation over similar abortion laws is pending in several other courts.”
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Yellow Hammer News reports Mike Lewis, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Marshall’s filing asked for a 30-day extension from the court to finish preparing its petition in the case.
“Attorney General Marshall has made public his intent to file a petition for cert in the case West Alabama Women’s Center v. Williamson challenging Alabama’s abortion dismemberment law,” Lewis said. “… Marshall asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant the State an additional 30 days beyond the Nov. 20, 2018, deadline in order to allow the state to complete its work in preparing the cert petition.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is challenging the law on behalf of the state abortion businesses, argues that the law wrongfully prohibits a common second-trimester abortion method called dilation and evacuation, or D&E. It claims the law would create an unconstitutional burden on women’s access to abortion by essentially ending all second-trimester abortions in the state.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, who initially blocked the law in 2016, agreed with the pro-abortion group’s argument.
“As explained, in the absence of an injunction, Alabama women would immediately lose the right to obtain a pre-viability abortion anywhere in the State when they reached 15 weeks of pregnancy, whereas all the State will face is that a likely unconstitutional law passed by legislators will not go into effect,” Thompson wrote in his ruling in 2016.
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 reported previously.
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.
“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.”
Nine states have passed dismemberment abortion bans to protect unborn babies, but most are being challenged in court.