By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life
Editor’s note. This appeared on page eleven of the March digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please be sure to read the issue in its entirety and pass stories along to your pro-life friends and family.
A combat Marine’s captivating testimony resulted in a decisive victory in the first battle to pass the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act (H3548) in South Carolina.
Wayne Cockfield, who lost both legs in Vietnam, brought an unusual and compelling perspective to the hearing before a House Judiciary Subcommittee on March 8, telling the members there is “a disconnect between what we want to believe and what the truth is.” Mr. Cockfield testified following Planned Parenthood and its cohorts, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the League of Women Voters, who defended dismemberment abortion as “as a safe and cost effective procedure.”
He said, “I’m here to represent the point of view that no one else is speaking to. I’ve been a victim of this disconnect and I have decided that I will address the brutality of the dismemberment abortion.”
Mr. Cockfield went on to describe how he was wounded in Vietnam in 1969. “I spent two years and three months in the hospital. I had 27 operations. And I have been dismembered! I know what it is like and let me tell you, it is not fun.”
His legs were amputated he said, “as a last resort to save my life. I cannot imagine dismembering an unborn baby in order to kill it.”
The subcommittee members, other legislators, and staff members attending the hearing, seemed riveted as Mr. Cockfield also went on to compare dismemberment of an unborn child to torturing animals and the Medieval practice of drawing and quartering condemned criminals.
Mr. Cockfield reminded the subcommittee members of a recent South Carolina case of a man arrested for starving dogs to death and in Michigan, the mutilation of a puppy whose ears and nose were cut off.
“People rightly reacted in horror to the barbaric actions these people did,” he said, then asked, “Why is it savagery to do this to an animal, but the same thing done to a baby is defended? A living unborn baby!”
He challenged the subcommittee members to consider why it is “a horror to rip the ears off of a puppy, but not a horror to rip the ears, and the legs, and the face, and the arms, and the hands, and the feet off of an unborn baby.”
Mr. Cockfield graphically described the dismemberment procedure in which the abortionist using “scissors, tongs, and clamps tears a baby apart limb from limb.”
Referring to the abortion defenders present at the hearing, he said they “speak of it as just a minor issue. People defend this kind of barbaric practice, and they ignore the truth. But I’m not going to ignore the truth because, you see, in a way, I’ve already suffered what these living, innocent babies are suffering as we speak.”
Drawing on his extensive interest in history, Mr. Cockfield also compared the dismembering of unborn children to the Medieval practice of drawing and quartering condemned criminals. This involved a barbaric and brutal method of execution in which the human body was disemboweled and dismembered.
Gesturing toward the line drawing used to illustrate the dismemberment procedure and to audible gasps, he said, “The civilized world outlawed that. But babies are being drawn and quartered, the equivalent of that, now in the uterus. You cannot get past that fact. It is barbaric!”
Mr. Cockfield called on the subcommittee members to “do what is right” and to ban dismemberment abortion in South Carolina. “This state, God willing, will outlaw it.”
The subcommittee voted unanimously to send the bill on to the full House Judiciary Committee.
Editor’s note. Sgt. Wayne Cockfield, USMC, Ret. is the Vice President for Medical Ethics of the National Right to Life Committee and lives in Florence, South Carolina. He primarily testifies against pro-euthanasia bills, but offered his personal perspective to help pass the dismemberment ban.