WASHINGTON – Late yesterday, pro-life Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) signed into law the groundbreaking Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. The bill passed the state House of Representatives, 84-2, in February, and the state Senate, 37-4, last week. The law, which will go into effect on November 1, will prohibit dismemberment abortions in Oklahoma.
“The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is starting to transform the debate about abortion policy in the United States,” said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. “We applaud the efforts of our affiliate, Oklahomans For Life, and the pro-life commitment of the Oklahoma legislature and Governor Fallin in seeing that this groundbreaking bill become law in the Sooner State.”
Oklahoma is the second state to protect unborn children from dismemberment abortions that tear them apart limb from limb. Last week, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed similar legislation prohibiting dismemberment abortions in the state. Model legislation provided by National Right to Life is also under consideration in the legislatures of Missouri and South Carolina.
“We applaud the Oklahoma legislature for standing up for unborn children by passing the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” added Tobias. “This law has the power to change how the public views the gruesome reality of abortion in the United States.”
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 Anthony Kennedy observed that in 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 (dismemberment) abortions are “laden with the power to devalue human life…”
“Governor Mary Fallin is to be commended for her quick action in signing into law the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which will prohibit this barbaric inhumanity in our state,” said Oklahomans For Life State Chairman Tony Lauinger. “We appreciate, also, the exceptional leadership of Representatives Pam Peterson and Senator Josh Brecheen for spearheading the enactment of this landmark lifesaving legislation.”
“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.”
A medical illustration of a D&E dismemberment abortion is available at www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/deabortiongraphic.
Background materials on the bill are available on the National Right to Life website at www.nrlc.org/statelegislation/dismemberment.
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.