Texas defends its ban on brutal dismemberment abortions before federal court of appeals

By Dave Andrusko

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing oral arguments today in an appeal brought by the state of Texas, challenging a lower court decision that overturned the state’s Texas Dismemberment Abortion Ban. After a five-day trial over Senate Bill 8 that began on November 2, 2017, “Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel, who historically rules in favor of the abortion industry, issued a sweeping ruling” that struck the law down, according to Texas Right to Life.

The Houston Chronicle story  announcing the forthcoming oral arguments was brief, but long enough to include the customary pro-abortion talking point.

Conspicuous by its absence was a description of what happens to a baby during a dismemberment abortion. A living child is killed as she is ripped apart, limb from limb.

Eight other states have joined Texas in banning this savagery — Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia , Mississippi, Alabama , Louisiana , Arkansas, and, most recently, Kentucky.

Reporter Andrea Zelinski did note, however, “Pending the decision by the circuit court, the case could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Stories from pro-abortion newspapers, such as the Chronicle, would never include the kind of detail from the trial before Judge Yeakel that pro-life observers from Texas Right to Life provided their audience. For example, here is a long excerpt from one of Texas Right to Life’s posts:

Normally, abortionists carefully shroud their victims from the public eye, using euphemisms to hide the baby’s humanity or avoiding their mention altogether. However, the abortion businesses that brought this lawsuit and an unprecedented five-day trial unknowingly spotlighted the preborn and revealed their callous indifference to these children’s suffering.

Former abortionist and Pro-Life advocate Anthony Levatino, M.D., described the brutality of committing the dismemberment abortion procedure on a living human being. He explained how an abortionist must take inventory of the baby’s body parts during the procedure to ensure nothing is left inside the woman, and that taking inventory could sometimes include seeing the baby’s face looking back at him. Another state witness, Dr. David Berry, also described the sickening process of reassembling the baby, recalling children’s hearts still beating after he dismembered them.

Dr. Farr Curlin, an expert witness on bioethics, provided a more philosophical defense of protecting the preborn from death by dismemberment. He argued that the practice of live dismemberment is egregiously disrespectful to a human being and contradicts basic principles of medical ethics. He discussed how banning the dismemberment abortion procedure would actually safeguard the integrity of the medical profession overall. Dr. Curlin explained the Pro-Life implications of the medical profession’s core value, “do no harm.”

Another expert the state called was Dr. Colleen Malloy, a neonatologist who testified on fetal pain. She discussed how the pain experience for babies is different from adults but is pain nonetheless, and that because babies are unable to describe their pain, doctors must use indirect evidence such as hormonal responses, changes in blood pressure, and behavioral patterns. From her medical experience, she told of seeing babies in utero crying, grimacing, kicking, and moving away from noxious stimuli.

She explained how, as a doctor, managing the pain of all her patients (born or preborn) and providing comfort care is her professional obligation. Dr. Malloy’s opinion is that, because babies in utero haven’t experienced extreme stimuli, dismemberment would be excruciating. She concluded her testimony by explaining how one cannot objectively select a point during embryonic development to treat a fetus different from a born human being.

Finally, during the state’s closing arguments, the attorney general’s legal team explained how Texas has a compelling state interest in regulating the medical profession, prohibiting the dismemberment procedure, and protecting preborn Life.

We will update you tomorrow and in the days to come about what comes out of today’s oral arguments.