The Indiana legislature approved a pro-life bill Tuesday to ban brutal dismemberment abortions that tear unborn babies limb from limb while their hearts still are beating.
State House Bill 1211 passed the Indiana Senate in a 38-10 vote, and now heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb, who is expected to sign it into law, according to the Indiana Business Journal. The state House passed the bill by a strong majority in February.
Sponsored by state Rep. Peggy Mayfield, the bill would allow abortionists to be charged with a felony if they abort an unborn baby by tearing the baby limb from limb while their heart is beating. These types of abortion procedures are common in the second trimester when unborn babies are nearly fully formed. State data indicates the method was used to kill 27 babies in 2017.
The NWI Times reports state Sen. Liz Brown, the sponsor in the Senate, described the gruesome, “barbaric” way unborn babies often are aborted in the second trimester. She said abortion doctors use a clamp “to reach into the woman’s uterus and snap off the limbs of the baby so those body parts can be easily removed.”
“It is constitutionally appropriate for Hoosiers to decide that it is not necessary to dismember a baby in order to preserve a woman’s constitutional right to privacy,” Brown said.
However, the Indiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union said it will file a lawsuit if the measure becomes law.
Meanwhile, pro-life leaders in Indiana rejoiced that the bill passed the legislature.
“We commend the Indiana legislature for passing the dismemberment abortion ban in order to protect children from this horrific procedure,” said Mike Fichter, president and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “By passing this law, Indiana is declaring the dignity of the unborn child. We thank the bill’s leaders and we urge Gov. Holcomb to give this bill his signature.”
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The pro-life group also thanked Mayfield, Brown, state Rep. Christy Stutzman, state Sen. Mark Messmer and other pro-life lawmakers who supported the legislation.
Several other states recently passed laws to protect unborn babies from being ripped apart in their mothers’ wombs. Alabama and Kentucky are fighting legal battles with the abortion industry to defend their laws.
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.
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban is built in part on the U.S. Supreme Court precedent set in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), which upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and scaled back the scope of Roe v. Wade. In its 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.”
Abortion activists with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists argue that D&E abortions are the safest abortion method in the second trimester.