WASHINGTON – The Kansas House of Representatives today approved, on a voice vote, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, groundbreaking legislation that will prohibit brutal dilation & evacuation (D&E) dismemberment abortions in the state. The state Senate previously approved the bill, 31-9, in February. Pro-life Governor Sam Brownback (R) is expected to sign the bill, making Kansas the first state in the nation to enact the National Right to Life model legislation.
“When the national debate focuses only on the mother, it is forgetting someone,” said National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. “The groundbreaking passage of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act has the potential to transform the debate when people realize that unborn children are being torn limb from limb.”
Sponsored by state Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma), the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act has been the top state legislative priority for National Right to Life and its affiliate, Kansans for Life (KFL). In announcing the bill at a press conference in January, KFL 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.”
“We applaud the efforts of our affiliate, Kansans for Life, for shepherding this vital and necessary bill through the legislature,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. “Because of the Kansas legislature’s strong pro-life convictions, unborn children in the state will be protected from brutal dismemberment abortions.”
D&E dismemberment abortions are as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States.
In his dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart decision, Justice 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…”
“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: www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/deabortiongraphic.
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.