Federal Judges Ask: Why Is It Illegal to Dismember an Animal But Not an Unborn Baby?

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 24, 2021   |   4:45PM   |   Washington, DC

Judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals defended a Texas law that protects unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions, ruling last week that unborn babies at least should be afforded the same protection from cruelty as animals are under the law.

Christian Headlines reports the judges upheld the 2017 Texas law, which prohibits the live dismemberment of unborn babies in abortions, in a 9-5 ruling.

“It is … illegal to dismember living animals,” Judges Jennifer Walker Elrod and Don R. Willett co-wrote in the majority decision. “… The state urges that SB8 would simply extend the same protection to fetuses.”

Texas has not been allowed to enforce the law up until this point because of a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, Whole Woman’s Health and other abortion groups. The pro-abortion groups convinced a lower court judge to block enforcement of the law, claiming it would be an undue burden on a woman’s right to abortion.

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The law prohibits dismemberment abortions, a method typically used in the second trimester to kill nearly fully-formed, living unborn babies. It is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn baby is ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces while his or her heart is still beating. Abortion groups refer to it as a D&E.

In their ruling last week, the Fifth Circuit judges said many abortion facilities are not telling women what will happen to their baby, according to Christian Headlines.

The judges pointed to informed consent forms from abortion facilities that say “’the pregnancy tissue will be removed during the procedure’” but do not “explain that the fetus’s body parts – arms, legs, ribs, skull and everything else – will be ripped apart and pulled out piece by piece.”

Judge Priscilla Owens, in a concurring opinion, described dismemberment abortions as “abhorrent,” noting that society prohibits such cruelty against animals, the report continues.

“The state has expressed its interest in prohibiting the dismemberment of a living fetus,” Owens wrote. “This is congruent with the widely accepted principle that dismemberment of living mammals should be prohibited. For example, unwanted dogs, cats, puppies and kittens in shelters must be humanely euthanized under Texas law.”

State Sen. Charles Schwertner, who wrote the bill, said his purpose is to “ensure the dignity and protection for the unborn child” in Texas.

The dismemberment abortion ban embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee that would prohibit “dismemberment abortion,” using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a living unborn baby to remove him or her from the womb in pieces. Such instruments typically are used in dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures.

Including Texas, 13 states have passed dismemberment abortion bans. However, most are being challenged in court by the abortion industry.