Kentucky and an abortion business are scheduled to appear in court next week to battle over a law that protects unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions.
The law, signed by pro-life Gov. Matt Bevin in April, prohibits abortions “that will result in the bodily dismemberment, crushing or human vivisection of the unborn child” while he or she is still alive. However, the American Civil Liberties Union quickly sued on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, the only abortion business in Kentucky, and a judge temporarily blocked the law.
The AP reports a federal judge plans to hear the case next week.
Lawyers for the state argue that the law stops a “brutal and violent” procedure against a living human being, while lawyers for the pro-abortion group claim the law prohibits the “safest and most common” second-trimester abortion method, according to the report.
“This gruesome procedure, which rips apart a live, unborn child, is antithetical to everything that we stand for as a civilized society,” said Steve Pitt, general counsel for the state, previously. “H.B. 454 recognizes the dignity of human life and provides an alternative method for performing dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions that does not subject the unborn to the torture and agony of being dismembered while alive.”
Opponents of the law say it is part of a broader national ploy by the anti-abortion movement to chip away at access to abortions.
“Anti-abortion organizations created these bills not just to ban a method but to ban abortion overall,” said Andrew Beck, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project. …
Bevin’s lawyers, led by General Counsel M. Stephen Pitt, are defending the law and have forcefully attacked the procedure as “truly a brutal practice” that involves dismemberment of “helpless unborn children.”
State Rep. Addia Wuchner, sponsor of House Bill 454, which effectively bans dilation and evacuation, said her concern is for the “human child within the womb.”
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“We sort of sterilize abortion when we think about it as a medical procedure, which it is,” said Wuchner, a Burlington Republican and chairwoman of the House Health and Family Services Committee.
In 2017, 526 unborn babies were aborted by dismemberment in Kentucky, according to the report.
Dismemberment abortion is a procedure in which the abortionist first dilates the woman’s cervix and then uses steel instruments to dismember and extract the baby from the uterus. The procedure is usually performed between 11 and 24 weeks LMP, when the baby is somewhere between the size of a lemon and a cantaloupe.
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.
U.S. District Court Judge Joseph H. McKinley is the judge in the case. He was appointed by pro-abortion President Bill Clinton.
Nine states have passed dismemberment abortion bans. They include Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban is built in part on the precedent set in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) which upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, scaling back the scope of Roe v. Wade. In the court’s opinion, former Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing vote on abortion, described what occurs in a D&E abortion: “[F]riction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus… No one would dispute that for many, D&E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life.”