A Planned Parenthood lobbyist in Michigan defended abortions that dismember nearly fully formed unborn babies Wednesday, claiming the barbaric procedures are a “standard of care.”
The Michigan House Committee on Families, Children and Seniors considered legislation to ban the practice during a hearing Wednesday. State House Bills 4320 and 4321 would add dismemberment abortions to the current state ban on partial-birth abortions.
The Detroit News reports the hearing became heated as pro-life lawmakers and abortion activists with Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups debated the legislation.
“This practice is barbaric, it is agonizing, it is outrageous and it must stop,” said state Rep. Lynn Afendoulis, a sponsor of the bill.
However, a Planned Parenthood lobbyist contended that the bill would outlaw an abortion procedure that is a “standard of care,” according to the report.
Amanda West, a spokesperson for the abortion chain’s Michigan branch, slammed the bill as an “orchestrated” attack on abortion access, Mlive.com reports.
“We are here because the lies have to stop. We must call these bills what they are, nothing more than an orchestrated national strategy by anti-abortion politicians to restrict abortion,” West said.
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But abortion activists did not mention any details about the actual abortion procedure that pro-life lawmakers want to ban.
State Rep. Pamela Hornberger, the co-sponsor of the bill, said the measure would ban a “gruesome, horrific and cruel abortion procedure whereby a tiny baby in its mother’s womb is literally ripped apart.”
Dismemberment abortion, otherwise known as dilation and evacuation (D&E), is a procedure in which the abortionist dilates the woman’s cervix and then uses steel instruments to dismember and extract the baby from the uterus. It is a common second-trimester abortion method that dismembers a nearly fully-formed unborn baby while his or her heart is still beating.
In 2017, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,777 D&E (dismemberment) abortions.
In many cases, the unborn babies may feel excruciating pain as they are being dismembered, Dr. Donna Harrison of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists testified Wednesday. She pointed to studies and practices where unborn babies in the second trimester are given anesthesia during fetal surgery to protect them from feeling pain.
The committee likely will vote on the legislation next week.
Currently, 11 states ban dismemberment abortions: Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky and North Dakota. Earlier this month, a judge blocked Ohio from enforcing its pro-life law.
Right to Life of Michigan urged residents to contact the committee members. They are:
- Kathy Crawford (R), 517-373-0827 or KathyCrawford@house.mi.gov
- Daire Rendon (R), 517-373-3817 or DaireRendon@house.mi.gov
- Michele Hoitenga (R), 517-373-1747 or MicheleHoitenga@house.mi.gov
- Luke Meerman (R), 517-373-1830 or LukeMeerman@house.mi.gov
- Douglas Wozniak (R), 517-373-0843 or DouglasWozniak@house.mi.gov
- LaTanya Garrett (D), 517-373-2276 or LaTanyaGarrett@house.mi.gov
- Frank Liberati (D), 517-373-0845 or FrankLiberati@house.mi.gov
- Brenda Carter (D), 517-373-0475 or BrendaCarter@house.mi.gov
- Cynthia A. Johnson (D), 517-373-0844 or CynthiaA.Johnson@house.mi.gov
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.