In a victory for the rights of unborn babies, an Oklahoma judge upheld a state law Friday that bans brutal dismemberment abortions that tear nearly fully-formed unborn babies limb from limb.
Tulsa World reports Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong upheld the 2015 pro-life law in a case brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Tulsa Women’s Clinic, an abortion facility.
The Oklahoma Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act bans dismemberment abortions, also known as D&E abortions, that tear unborn babies limb from limb while their hearts are still beating. The method is a common second-trimester abortion procedure. Abortion practitioners who violate the law would face up to two years in prison as well as a $10,000 fine.
Gov. Mary Fallin signed the law in 2015, but pro-abortion groups immediately challenged it in court.
On Friday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s office celebrated the ruling as a major victory for human rights in America.
“Dismemberment abortions are barbaric, brutal and subject unborn children to more cruelty that we allow for death row inmates,” Hunter told the local news. “It is unconscionable to think that we would allow this practice to continue.
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“Judge Truong is to be commended for declaring this legislation constitutional. Today is a major victory for basic human decency in Oklahoma,” he continued.
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, Truong is the first judge in the country to uphold a dismemberment abortion ban.
The abortion group blamed the female judge for issuing a decision that could “harm” women.
“We will keep fighting this unconstitutional ban to make sure Oklahomans have access to the best medical treatment,” said Julie Rikelman, litigation director for the pro-abortion group.
Oklahoma was the second state in the nation to protect unborn children from dismemberment abortions that tear them apart limb from limb. Kansas became the first in 2015 when Gov. Sam Brownback signed similar legislation prohibiting dismemberment abortions in his state.
Since then, 12 states have passed similar legislation. Most are being blocked in court.
National Right to Life Committee, which wrote the model legislation, points to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the partial-birth abortion case as grounds for banning dismemberment abortions, too.
In his dissent to the Stenberg v. Carhart decision, former Justice Anthony Kennedy observed that in D&E dismemberment abortions, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.” Justice Kennedy added in the court’s 2007 opinion, Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion, that D&E abortions are “laden with the power to devalue human life…”