Editor’s note. My family will be on vacation through the end of next week. I will be posting an occasional new story, but for the most part we will be re-posting columns that ran over the last year. Many will be strictly educational while some will about remind us of notable victories this legislative cycle.
WASHINGTON–This morning [April 7], pro-life Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) signed into law the groundbreaking Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. The bill received overwhelming support in the state legislature earlier this year. In signing the bill, Governor Brownback makes Kansas the first state in the nation to enact the National Right to Life model legislation that will prohibit the use of dismemberment abortions. The law will go into effect on July 1.
“The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is the first of what we hope will be many state laws banning dismemberment abortions,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “This law has the power to transform the landscape of abortion policy 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 abortions are “laden with the power to devalue human life…”
“Dismemberment abortion kills a baby by tearing her apart limb from limb,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., National Right to Life director of state legislation. “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.”
“We applaud our affiliate, Kansans for Life, for shepherding this bill through the legislature,” added Tobias. “We applaud the legislators who stood up for unborn children by supporting the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, and we thank Governor Brownback for his outstanding pro-life leadership in signing it into law.”
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.