Oklahoma House Committee passes Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act

By Dave Andrusko

stopdismembermentLast week NRL News Today reported that Kansas was the first state to introduce the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.”

This week we can add Oklahoma to the list of states which have proposed this bill which is based on one of NRLC’s priority state legislation bills.

More than that on Wednesday the House Public Health Committee voted 8-3 in favor of the “Oklahoma Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” which now heads to the House floor.

The legislation would protect unborn children from the brutality of dismemberment abortion.

“Dismemberment abortion kills a baby by tearing her apart limb from limb,” said National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. “Before the first trimester ends, the unborn child has a beating heart, brain waves, and every organ system in place. Dismemberment abortions occur after the baby has reached these milestones.”

As would be expected, opponents tried to shift the discussion away from the sheer horror of such abortions. But as Tony Lauinger, President of Oklahomans for Life, told NRL News Today, “Representative Pam Peterson, House author of HB 1721, did a great job of continually fending off opponents’ questions by returning the focus to the living unborn child who is ripped apart, limb from limb, by the abortionist’s tools, and bleeds to death in her mother’s womb.”

D&E dismemberment abortions are as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States. It is a testimony to the power of the pro-abortion mainstream media that what takes place in dismemberment abortions is so little known.

In his dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart decision, Justice Kennedy wrote

“As described by Dr. Carhart [a prominent abortionist], the D&E procedure requires the abortionist to use instruments to grasp a portion (such as a foot or hand) of a developed and living fetus and drag the grasped portion out of the uterus into the vagina. Dr. Carhart uses the traction created by the opening between the uterus and vagina to dismember the fetus, tearing the grasped portion away from the remainder of the body. Ibid. The traction between the uterus and vagina is essential to the procedure because attempting to abort a fetus without using that traction is described by Dr. Carhart as “pulling the cat’s tail” or “drag[ging] a string across the floor, you’ll just keep dragging it. It’s not until something grabs the other end that you are going to develop traction.”

The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would:

It bleeds to death as it is torn from 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. Dr. Carhart agreed that “[w]hen you pull out a piece of the fetus, let’s say, an arm or a leg and remove that, at the time just prior to removal of the portion of the fetus, … the fetus [is] alive.” Dr. Carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with “extensive parts of the fetus removed,” and testified that mere dismemberment of a limb does not always cause death because he knows of a physician who removed the arm of a fetus only to have the fetus go on to be born “as a living child with one arm.”

At the conclusion of a D&E abortion no intact fetus remains. In Dr. Carhart’s words, the abortionist is left with “a tray full of pieces.”

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…”

“When abortion textbooks describe in cold, explicit detail exactly how to kill a human being by ripping off arms and legs piece by piece, civilized members of society have no choice but to stand up and demand a change,” added Spaulding Balch. “When you think it can’t be uglier, the abortion industry continues to shock with violent methods of abortion.”

A medical illustration of a D&E dismemberment abortion is available here.

Background materials on the bill are available on the National Right to Life website. Included in the background materials is the testimony of Anthony Levatino, M.D., before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice in May 2013, in which he described in great detail the D&E dismemberment abortions he once performed.