Oklahoma House passes Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act by a vote of 84-2

By Dave Andrusko

Oklahoma State Rep. Pam Peterson

Oklahoma State Rep. Pam Peterson

One of National Right to Life’s highest priorities is half-way home in Oklahoma. The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, HB 1721, passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives Wednesday 84-2. Several House members who commonly vote against pro-life bills abstained rather than publicly oppose the bill prohibiting such a grisly, barbaric method of killing a child in the womb. The bill now moves to the Oklahoma Senate.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act has also passed the Kansas Senate (31-9). A similar bill has been introduced in Missouri.

There’s also been some progress in describing what the bill would ban. Initially it was described as merely prohibiting a “type of abortion.” In a brief story, the Associated Press wrote that the Oklahoma House “has passed legislation that would prohibit abortions in which a fetus is dismembered in the womb.”

That’s hardly the complete truth but is closer.

“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.”

Kansans for Life legislative director Kathy Ostrowski observed, “With the discussion about, and passage of this bill, the public will see that dismemberment abortions brutally – and unacceptably – rip apart small human beings who have all of their internal organs and who have perfectly formed fingers and toes.”

Oklahoma State Rep. Pam Peterson of Tulsa, who sponsored the legislation, said

“I think the partial birth abortion [discussion] really educated Americans to the horrific act that that was. But at the same time, we didn’t realize what was going on in the second trimester with this dismemberment abortion and it’s equally horrific and I’m just very pleased today that it passed.”

Oklahomans For Life State Chairman Tony Lauinger reported that the bill’s opponents refused to debate against the bill, thus depriving the sponsor (under Oklahoma House rules) of the opportunity to debate in favor of her bill and thereby make the public aware of the gruesome reality of dismemberment abortions.

But other pro-life legislators, led by women Republicans Jadine Nollan and Elise Hall countered the pro-abortion strategy of silence by asking Representative Peterson a series of supportive questions which allowed her to fully explain the shocking details of the dismemberment abortion method

As NRL News Today has reported, occasionally even abortionists candidly describe what takes place in a D&E Dismemberment abortion.

Infamous late abortionist LeRoy Carhart did not mince words when he described the “procedure” while under oath in the 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart case.

“My normal course would be to dismember that appendage and then go back and try to take the fetus out whether foot or skull first, whatever end I can get to first….Just pulling and rotation, grasping the portion that you can get hold of which would be usually somewhere up the shaft of the exposed portion of the fetus …”

The further question was asked, “In that situation, when you pull on the arm and remove it, is the fetus still alive?” Carhart answered, “‘Yes.’ …I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy described the “procedure” in his written opinions in two Supreme Court abortion cases:

“After sufficient dilation, a doctor inserts grasping forceps through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus to grab a living fetus. The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman…” Gonzales v. Carhart, 127 S.Ct. 1610, 1620-21 (2007).

“The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn apart limb by 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. The process of dismembering the fetus continues until it has been completely removed… Once the fetus has been evacuated, the placenta and any remaining fetal material are suctioned or scraped out of the uterus. The doctor examines the different parts to ensure the entire fetal body has been removed.” Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 958-59 (2000) (Kennedy, A., dissenting).