The Ohio legislature on Thursday gave final approval to a bill that would ban dismemberment abortions. The bill now heads to Governor John Kasich, a Republican who is expected to sign it.
The Ohio Legislature approved the Dismemberment Abortion Ban (S.B. 145), sending the groundbreaking pro-life legislation to Gov. John Kasich for his signature. The Ohio House voted 62-27 in favor of the ban and the Senate concurred by a vote of 23-9.
Dismemberment abortion, otherwise known as dilation and evacuation (D&E), 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. In 2017, the Ohio Department of Health reported nearly 3,500 D&E abortions in the state of Ohio.
“Ohio’s pro-life Legislature has taken a courageous stance today,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “No longer will the barbaric abortion procedure of ripping a child limb from limb be tolerated in Ohio. This practice is horrific and with today’s vote Ohioans through their elected representatives have saved countless unborn babies from this torture.”
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban is being heralded by Ohio Right to Life as the next step in the national strategy to end abortion. This bill could soon become the newest addition to the 20 pro-life initiatives Ohio Right to Life has seen enacted since 2011. The Dismemberment Abortion Ban now only requires the governor’s signature in order to become state law.
“Ten years ago, the Supreme Court established the precedent for this legislation in Gonzales v. Carhart, when it upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban,” said Gonidakis. “The precedent is there and we’re thrilled to see the Ohio Legislature follow the Court’s lead. We’re grateful for the sponsors, Senators Matt Huffman and Steve Wilson, and Senate President Larry Obhof and Speaker Ryan Smith for their leadership on this issue.”
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban has been enacted in nine states, not including Ohio, and introduced in 17 other states in the past three years.
Dismemberment abortions, also known as dilation and evacuation abortions, typically occur between 13 to 24 weeks of pregnancy when an unborn baby is nearly fully formed with fingers, toes and all of his/her major organs in place. During a D&E procedure, a woman’s cervix is dilated and the unborn child is ripped apart in the womb with forceps, clamps or similar surgical instruments, and then suctioned out of the womb while their heart is still beating.
If enacted, abortion practitioners could be charged with a fourth-degree felony for performing dismemberment abortions. This could result in up to 18 months in prison. There are exceptions to the bill, such as allowing the procedure if the life of the mother is at risk, or if there is the possibility of impairing a major bodily function.
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Many states are working on banning dismemberment abortions. Kentucky is currently in a legal battle to protect its law to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions. Florida also passed HB 1429 to ban dismemberment abortions, and Texas’ dismemberment abortion ban is on appeal after a federal district court out of Austin placed an injunction on the law in November 2017.