Dismemberment Abortion Ban Clears First Hurdle in the S.C. Senate Subcommittee

By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life

COLUMBIA, S.C. (February 15) — The bill to outlaw dismemberment abortions on living unborn children cleared its first hurdle in the South Carolina Senate today, giving hope that the measure can be signed into law in 2018. Gov. Henry McMaster has said he will sign the law.

Members of the Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee voted 3-2 along party lines to advance H3548, the Unborn Child Protection Against Dismemberment Abortion Act, to the full Medical Affairs Subcommittee.

Voting in favor were Subcommittee Chairman Senator Shane Martin, R-Spartanburg, Senator Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, and Senator Katrina Shealy. Voting to continue the barbaric practice of ripping living unborn babies apart piece by piece were Senator Margie Bright Matthews, D-Colleton, and Senator Floyd Nicholson, D-Greenwood.

Dr. Marc Chetta, a physician and professor at Bob Jones University, gave dramatic and graphic testimony when he held up a life-like fetal model of a 20-week pre-born baby and using a surgical instrument demonstrated how abortionists rip the arms and legs from the baby so that she bleeds to death. Sen. Martin shook his head in disbelief.

“If there’s something so graphic and horrible that we can’t stand to think about it, then maybe we shouldn’t be doing it,” Dr. Chetta testified. He said if he did such a procedure on a pregnant dog, he would be criminally charged with cruelty to animals. “Yet we celebrate this in the U.S. and pay people to do it.”

Another physician, Dr. Stuart Hamilton of Columbia, S.C., verified for the committee that Dr. Chetta’s description of dismemberment abortion was medically accurate. He then turned to current advances in pre-natal surgery that give unborn babies with medical problems treatment before birth.

“Conditions that are potentially treated include congenital heart disease, tumors, and malformations of the nervous system, lungs, G.I. tract, kidneys, bladder, and abdomen,” he testified. “Yet dismemberment abortions are performed on other babies with medical problems. The procedure, he said, “does not save the lives or bind the wounds of any infant. It simply kills, steals, and destroys using crude physical dismemberment.”

A third physician, Dr. Mark Shaffer, of Windsboro, S.C., submitted a letter likening dismemberment abortion to the Medieval form of execution known as drawing and quartering.

Ingrid Duran, the National Right to Life Director of State Legislation, told the subcommittee members she believes the bill will be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court for reasons similar to those offered by the High Court when it upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion in Stenberg v. Carhart.

Abortionist Leroy Carhart explained what occurs during a dismemberment abortion.

“My normal course would be to dismember that appendage and then go back and try to take the fetus out whether foot or skull first, whatever end I can get to first….Just pulling and rotation, grasping the portion that you can get hold of which would be usually somewhere up the shaft of the exposed portion of the fetus …I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.”

“We are confident that we have the votes in the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold another ban on equally barbaric procedure” that is dismemberment abortion,” Duran said.

Lisa Van Riper, President of South Carolina Citizens for Life, responded to pro-abortion testimony noting that the abortion supporters “haven’t talked about the child. They haven’t talked about the little girl in the womb who will never get to exercise her rights.”

She informed the panel that other organizations supporting the dismemberment ban include the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, the South Carolina Association of Pregnancy Care Centers, Palmetto Family Council, and the Christian World View Center of North Greenville University.