A California abortionist defended the dismembering of unborn babies in abortions Thursday in front of Nebraska state lawmakers.
The Omaha World-Herald reports lawmakers listened to testimony from several doctors about a new bill, Legislative Bill 814, to ban dismemberment abortions that tear nearly fully formed babies limb from limb while their hearts are still beating. Dismemberment abortions, or dilation and evacuation (D&E), typically are done in the second trimester when the unborn baby is nearly fully formed and likely can feel pain.
Violators could be charged with a class 4 felony and punished with two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It also would allow abortionists to be sued for doing dismemberment abortions.
Jody Steinauer, a Nebraska native, abortionist and professor at the University of California San Francisco, defended the barbaric practice as medical care, according to the report.
“This bill is not about patient safety or about helping a physician provide quality medical care to a patient,” she said. “It is a ban on a very safe method of abortion.”
If the bill became law, it would make it a crime for doctors to use their best medical judgment in treating their patients, Steinauer said. She mentioned treating a patient that needed a second-trimester abortion because of a medical illness, so that she could be there to care for her other children. Another patient she treated that same day was 16 and hadn’t realized she was pregnant until after the first trimester because she had irregular periods.
“It would go against my medical oath to not be able to offer the safest possible method of abortion to my patients in the second trimester,” she said.
However, Dr. Kathi Aultman, a former Planned Parenthood abortionist who now is pro-life, disputed Steinauer’s claims.
“I support this bill because it prevents the infliction of needless pain and suffering on innocent human beings, and preserves the integrity of the medical profession,” Aultman said. “There’s no medical reason that the baby has to be alive at the time this procedure is done, unless you’re trying to get fresh fetal tissue for research or something.”
Growing evidence indicates that unborn babies are capable of feeling intense pain by 20 weeks, if not before. This means unborn babies likely are suffering excruciating pain when they are aborted by dismemberment.
“This practice truly has no place in modern medicine and should not be happening in our society,” said state Sen. Suzanne Geist of Lincoln, the sponsor of the bill.
According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, 32 dismemberment abortions were done in 2018 in Nebraska on unborn babies at least 13 weeks of pregnancy.
But another abortion activist, University of Nebraska Medical Center medical student Jon Wood, also testified against the bill, ignoring the fundamental difference between abortion and any other medical procedure.
Wood claimed surgery to remove an appendix, gall bladder or wisdom tooth also could be considered dismemberment procedures, The Journal Star reports.
“I believe that those who support this bill don’t necessarily dislike dismemberment per se, but what they typically oppose is the word that comes after,” Wood said.
But lawmakers heard another startling testimony from a former abortion worker who does understand the difference. According to the newspaper:
Kristen New, who worked with a counselor during college and graduate school at two abortion clinics, said she believed at the time abortions helped women. Things drastically changed when she observed a dismemberment abortion, she said.
She watched as the fetus pulled its leg out of the doctor’s forceps, then its arm, and curled into a fetal position with its back to the forceps, she said. She believed the fetus experienced pain and was fighting for its life. She left the abortion clinic three months later, she said.
The American Civil Liberties Union hinted that it may sue if the dismemberment ban passes in Nebraska.
Since 2015, 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.
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…”