Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is working to protect unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions.
On Thursday, he asked the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear a case challenging a law that bans dismemberment abortions on live, nearly fully formed unborn babies, WDRB News reports.
The 2018 law prohibits abortions “that will result in the bodily dismemberment, crushing or human vivisection of the unborn child” while he or she is still alive. These gruesome methods commonly are used in D&E abortions in the second trimester.
According to the report, 537 of the 3,312 abortions in Kentucky in 2016 were D&E abortions.
“We’re exhausting every possible option to ensure that this law continues to be defended and is ultimately enforced,” Cameron, a pro-life Republican, said in a statement. “The law extends compassion and dignity to the unborn by ensuring they are not subjected to the horror and pain of the dismemberment process while still alive.”
In late May, a Sixth Circuit panel affirmed a ruling blocking the law. It claimed the pro-life law would “unduly [burden] the right to elect abortion before viability.”
Gov. Andy Beshear, a pro-abortion Democrat, did not challenge the ruling, so Cameron filed a motion to intervene in the case. He said he wants to ensure the law continues to receive a full defense.
“We would never allow the dismemberment of any other living being, and we are going to continue fighting, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, so that it can’t happen to unborn children,” he said.
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The American Civil Liberties Union is suing to block the law on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, currently the only abortion facility in Kentucky.
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.
Other states with dismemberment abortion laws include Arkansas, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia. The abortion industry is challenging many of them in court.
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban is built in part on the precedent set in the U.S. Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) which upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and scaled back the scope of Roe v. Wade. In the court’s 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.”
“Banning the brutal dismemberment abortion technique is among NRLC’s highest legislative priorities,” said Ingrid Duran, director of state legislation at NRLC.
“Dismemberment abortion, like partial-birth abortion is a brutal procedure which literally rips a living child apart limb from limb,” Duran added. “In Carhart, the Supreme Court said, ‘No one would dispute that, for many, D & E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life.’”