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Florida House Passes Bill to Ban Dismemberment Abortions Tearing Off Babies’ Limbs

Steven Ertelt

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Several states have already approved or are considering legislation to ban the dismemberment abortion technique — used to tear off a baby’s limbs during the abortion procedure during the latter portions of pregnancy. The Florida House today approved the pro-life bill to ban dismemberment abortions.

Dismemberment abortion, performed on a fully-formed, living unborn baby, is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn child is literally ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces. The law embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee that would ban “dismemberment abortion,” using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a living unborn baby to remove him or her from the womb in pieces. Such instruments are used in dilation and evacuation procedures.

Now Florida is tackling the horrific abortion procedure.

Florida House Bill 1429 would prohibit the practice of dismemberment abortion, a method typically used in the second trimester to kill nearly fully-formed, living unborn babies. It is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn baby is ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces while his or her heart is beating. Abortionists who violate the law could face felony charges.

Today, the state House gave the bill its approval.

The measure (HB 1429), sponsored by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, would impose new restrictions on doctors performing dilation-and-evacuation abortions, in which a woman’s cervix is dilated and the fetus is removed in pieces.

Grall described the legislation as a “middle ground” for her since she staunchly opposes abortions.

“This bill acknowledges a woman is having an abortion,” Grall said. “Let us remind ourselves of our humanity and make sure we do not tear a child apart in the womb just because they cannot articulate their pain.”

Rep. Amy Mercado, D-Orlando, spoke in opposition to the bill, saying the new restrictions would present “substantial obstacles” to a woman’s right to an abortion under federal and state law. The bill passed 72-42 largely along party lines, with House Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition.

A similar bill (SB 1890), sponsored by Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Rockledge, has not been heard in the Senate.

The abortion chain Planned Parenthood also is fighting against the bill.

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But would such an abortion ban be constitutional given the Roe v. Wade decision? The group points to the high court’s ruling in the partial-birth abortion case as grounds for banning dismemberment abortions too.

In his dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart decision, Justice Kennedy observed that in D&E 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.” Justice Kennedy added in the Court’s 2007 opinion, Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion, that D&E abortions are “laden with the power to devalue human life…”

“When abortion textbooks describe in cold, explicit detail exactly how to kill a human being by ripping off arms and legs piece by piece, civilized members of society have no choice but to stand up and demand a change,” added Spaulding Balch. “When you think it can’t be uglier, the abortion industry continues to shock with violent methods of abortion.”

Supporters of the ban also point to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court Gonzales ruling, which said: “Casey [the 1992 Supreme Court decision] does not allow a doctor to choose the abortion method he or she might prefer …[and physicians] are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures.”

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