The Michigan state Senate approved legislation Tuesday to ban dismemberment abortions that tear nearly fully formed unborn babies limb from limb while their hearts are still beating. The House plans to approve identical bills later Tuesday.
Supporters of the bills approved 22-16 by the Senate on a party-line vote Tuesday with Republicans voting to ban dismemberment abortions and Democrats supporting them.
The bills, House Bills 4320 and 4321, would add dismemberment abortions to the current state ban on partial-birth abortions. 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. In 2017, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,777 D&E (dismemberment) abortions killing babies in this brutal fashion.
“These bills are Michigan’s response to New York’s abortion law and other states seeking to explicitly allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason,” said Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing.
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She pointed to opinion polls that consistently show most Americans oppose late-term abortions.
“Dismemberment abortions are obvious violence, and that’s not how we should be treating our own children,” Listing said.
Despite the public support, abortion activists are lobbying aggressively against the legislation. A Planned Parenthood lobbyist defended dismemberment abortions as a “standard of care.”
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.
But abortion activists did not mention any details about the actual abortion procedure.
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.”
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.
Currently, 11 states ban dismemberment abortions: Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky and North Dakota. In April, a judge blocked Ohio from enforcing its pro-life law.