NRL News

D&E Dismemberment abortions: “utterly beyond the pale”

by | Mar 25, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

2nd-Trimester-KDHE-infoWe will be talking about a great deal in the coming weeks about enactment of Kansas’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act and the expected passage of the same bill in Oklahoma where it has cruised through the House and is expected to pass the Senate as early as next week. Here’s why.

It’s NRLC’s #1 state legislative priority. There is a tremendous sense of accomplishment whenever a pro-life law moves the discussion (and protection for unborn children) forward, but doubly so when (in this case Kansas) state legislators overrode determined pro-abortion obstructionism and a rash of beside-the-point objections. They saw clearly what is at stake, which is why Kansans for Life and NRLC pushed SB95 so hard.

There were many reasons the Abortion Industry and its legion of apologists so adamantly opposed enacting a ban on blood-curdling partial-birth abortions. Not just because they will oppose restricting any abortion (no matter how gruesome) at any time in pregnancy (up to the moment of birth) for any reason (or none), but also because a precedent was set in 2007 when the Supreme Court upheld the ban in Gonzales v. Carhart. A particular abortion technique was proscribed for the first time.

And in a fundamental sense, the real education of the wider American public resumed, which really frightened them. Ordinary citizens asked themselves, could it be legal (prior to the ban) to almost birth a huge baby, then drill a hole in the baby’s skull, and suck out her brains? This can’t be true—but it was!

Likewise with the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which revolves around an abortion technique every bit as revolting and more common than partial-birth abortions. Justice Kennedy wrote in his 2000 dissent in Steinberg

“As described by Dr. Carhart, the D&E procedure requires the abortionist to use instruments to grasp a portion (such as a foot or hand) of a developed and living fetus and drag the grasped portion out of the uterus into the vagina. Dr. Carhart uses the traction created by the opening between the uterus and vagina to dismember the fetus, tearing the grasped portion away from the remainder of the body…. [until the unborn baby] bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb… In Dr. Carhart’s words, the abortionist is left with ‘a tray full of pieces.’”  

D&E Dismemberment abortions truly are every bit as awful as Justice Kennedy described them to be. Which is why (seven years later when the High Court upheld the ban on partial-birth abortions) Kennedy wrote

“ [abortionists] acknowledged that they do not describe to their patients what [the D&E and partial-birth] procedures entail in clear and precise terms’) …[yet] it is precisely the way in which the fetus will be killed that is of legitimate concern to the State.”

It cannot be emphasized clearly enough or often enough that the Supreme Court recognizes that the states have  compelling interests (plural) in regulating abortion to preserve the integrity of the medical profession and to show respect for the human fetus.”

Justice Kennedy faulted the Stenberg majority for exalting abortionists’ preferences and omitting

“the perspective of a society shocked when confronted with a new method of ending human life…The State’s constitutional authority is a vital means for citizens to address these grave and serious issues ”

Mary Spaulding Balch, JD, is NRLC’s director of state legislation. I asked her this afternoon about what the High Court meant when it talked about upholding the integrity of the medical profession.

“If it becomes common knowledge that medical professionals—abortionists—are performing these particularly horrific ‘procedures,’ people might start to lose faith in the profession,” she said.

The bill just passed in Kansas “brings to the forefront a particularly heinous way they kill unborn children,” Balch said. “The fact that the legislature in Kansas (and hopefully soon in Oklahoma) has gone so far as to ban this abortion technique sends a strong message to other states that D&E Dismemberment abortions are utterly beyond the pale.”

Categories: Abortion