CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Lawmakers in West Virginia have passed a bill that makes it illegal for abortionists to perform dilation and evacuation abortions (D&E) in the state, also known as dismemberment abortions.
H.B. 4004 and S.B. 10 are known as the “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act,” and make criminal “for any person to purposely perform or attempt to perform a dismemberment abortion and thereby kill an unborn child unless necessary to prevent serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”
H.B. 4004 defines a dismemberment abortion, a common procedure for second trimester abortions, as an act to “purposely to dismember a living unborn child and extract him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.”
The bill passed the House on Monday 86-13 while S.B. 10 passed the Senate 24-9 on Feb. 17.
While outlawing dismemberment abortions with the exception of the mother’s health, the legislation notes that it does not apply to suction aspiration abortions, which are commonly performed in the first trimester to rip the child from the womb using a vaccuum-like device.
“The term ‘dismemberment abortion’ does not include an abortion which uses suction to dismember the body of the unborn child by sucking fetal parts into a collection container, although it does include an abortion in which a dismemberment abortion is used to cause the death of an unborn child, but suction is subsequently used to extract fetal parts after the death of the unborn child,” it reads.
The bill was debated for less than an hour before coming up for a vote, with some opposing the legislation in stating that it interferes with the patient-doctor relationship.
“It’s not any of your business, and yet, you’re making it your business,” Del. Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha, asserted.
Del. Kayla Kessinger, R-Fayette, said that protecting those destined for death should be indeed be the business of the state.
“We are not just talking about another limb on our body. We’re talking about a completely separate individual that has a right to life and that’s why it’s our business,” she argued.
“We cannot just turn out back on those persons and say that they can legally, without repercussions, legally and physically be torn apart,” Del. Tom Fast, R-Fayette, likewise declared.
The bill now heads to the desk of Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who identifies as pro-life, but has not indicated whether he will sign or veto the legislation. Last year, Tomblin vetoed a bill banning abortions past 20 weeks gestation over concerns that it would be ruled unconstitutional. His veto was overruled by a majority vote.
Nearly 60 million babies have been murdered in the womb since abortion was “legalized” in 1973 via the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.
In an introductory lecture to his course on obstetrics in 1854, Philadelphia Dr. Hugh Lennox Hodge explained that if a woman were to come to a medical doctor in pursuit of an abortion, “he must, as it were, grasp the conscience of his weak and erring patient and let her know in language not to be misunderstood that she is responsible to her Creator for the life of the being within her.”
“So low, gentleman, is the moral sense of community on this subject. So ignorant are even the greater number of individuals, that even mothers in many instances shrink not at the commission of this crime, but will voluntarily destroy their own progeny, in violation of every natural sentiment, and in opposition to the laws of God and man,” he said.
“Perhaps there are few individuals in extensive practice as obstetricians who have not had frequent applications made to them by the fathers or mothers of unborn children (respectable and polite in their general appearance and manners), to destroy the fruit of illicit pleasure under the vain hope of preserving their reputation by this unnatural and guilty sacrifice.”