Pennsylvania Senate Votes to Ban Brutal Dismemberment Abortions

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Senate has approved a ban on the brutal practice of dismemberment abortions.

Senate Bill 3 will make it illegal to cause “the death of an unborn child by means of dismembering the unborn child and extracting the unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments.”

Currently seven states ban such abortions: Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

The bill now moves to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration. A similar bill overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives last legislative session.

“Taking the life of an unborn child by tearing the baby limb by limb from a mother’s womb is cruel and unconscionable,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, an affiliate of National Right to Life. “It is a gruesome practice which most Pennsylvanians want to see banned, according to a statewide poll of Commonwealth residents. “

Gallagher added, “Not one Pennsylvania child should be subjected to this form of brutality—and not one mother should have to grieve a child killed in such a barbaric way,”

Senate Bill 3, which is sponsored by state Senator Michele Brooks (Crawford, Erie, Mercer, and Warren Counties), provides exceptions for the mother’s life or for the “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

“Poll results show that support for a dismemberment abortion ban in Pennsylvania is actually higher among women than men,” Gallagher noted. “Sixty-four percent of Pennsylvania women want to see this heinous practice banned once and for all. And they applaud those women lawmakers who are leading the fight to end this ultimate form of child abuse.”

Under SB3, the legal limit for abortions in Pennsylvania would also change from six months’ to five months’ gestation, reflecting the fact that modern technology has been able to save babies at ever-earlier stages of development.