Michigan Senate votes to ban dismemberment abortion; House expected to do likewise later today

LANSING, Mich– By a vote of 22-16, the Michigan state Senate this morning voted to ban the dismemberment of living unborn children. Senate Bills 229 & 230 would amend Michigan’s 2011 ban on partial-birth abortions by including the dismemberment abortion procedure.

The House counterparts are House Bills 4320 and 4321,

Twelve states already forbid the hideous dismemberment technique in which the abortionist first dilates the woman’s cervix and then uses steel instruments to dismember the living, unborn baby, piece by bloody piece, until she bleeds to death.

Indiana is the most recent to enact such a law.

“This is a horrific, barbaric procedure,” said Genevieve Marnon, legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan. “It literally rips arms and legs off of living babies. This is not OK. This is not OK for any civilized person.”

According to David Eggert of the Associated Press, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told a Planned Parenthood conference last month, “You’ve got a powerful backstop in a veto from my office.”

He added

With Whitmer expected to veto the measures if they are sent to her desk as soon as next week, Right to Life is preparing to launch a citizens’ initiative that could be enacted by lawmakers without her signature. The group has successfully used the maneuver four times before to put anti-abortion bills into law.

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy accurately described dismemberment/D&E abortions in his opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on partial-birth abortion in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) and Stenberg v. Carhart (2000).

In Gonzales, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The doctor, often guided by ultrasound, inserts grasping forceps through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus to grab the fetus. The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman.”

In Stenberg, Justice Kennedy wrote, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from 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.”

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “In his opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy rightly said that dismemberment abortions are ‘laden with the power to devalue human life.’ Tearing the arms and legs off children in the later stages of pregnancy is not a good reflection of our Michigan values.”