Michigan House Committee approves bills to ban abortions that dismember living unborn children

By Dave Andrusko

Having introduced their bills to ban the dismemberment of living unborn children last month, pro-lifers in Michigan were encouraged by the actions of The House Families, Children and Seniors Committee in approving House Bills 4320 and 4321today.

Right to Life of Michigan has explained that HB 4320 and HB 4321 would amend Michigan’s 2011 ban on partial-birth abortions by including the dismemberment abortion procedure.

“These bills are Michigan’s response to New York’s abortion law and other states seeking to explicitly allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason,” Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said. Listing was referring to the infamous “Reproductive Health Act,” which pro-abortion Gov. Andrew Cuomo eagerly signed into law on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

The House Families, Children and Seniors Committee took testimony last week, according to reporter Emily Lawler

Lawler explained that

The bills head next to the House Judiciary Committee and then to the House Floor. The package would need to pass the House and Senate and be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer – who is pro-choice – to become law.

Dismemberment abortions are incredibly brutal, no less so than the partial-birth abortion method. PBA is now illegal, because of the 2007 United States Supreme Court ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart.

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.”

In the Court’s 2007 opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart, upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortions, Justice Kennedy added that D&E abortions are “laden with the power to devalue human life…”

“Before the first trimester ends, the unborn child has a beating heart, brain waves, and every organ system in place,” Ingrid Duran, NRLC director of State Legislation added. “Dismemberment abortions occur after the baby has reached these milestones.”

A medical illustration of a D&E dismemberment abortion is available here: 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.