SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Senators in Utah have approved a bill that would require abortionists in the state to give anesthesia to unborn babies so they cannot feel pain as they are murdered.
“Let’s call it what it is: It is killing babies, and if we’re going to kill that baby, we ought to have the humanity to protect them from pain,” bill author Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, said on the Senate floor.
On Friday, the Senate voted 19-5 in favor of Bramble’s bill, S.B. 234, which applies to babies five months in gestation or older.
“A physician who performs an abortion of an unborn child who is at least 20 weeks gestational age shall administer an anesthetic or analgesic to eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child caused by the particular method of abortion to be employed,” it reads.
The bill provides the exceptions of an adverse affect of the anesthesia on the mother, or if “the abortion is performed because the fetus has a defect that is uniformly diagnosable and uniformly lethal.”
Bramble’s legislation is based on studies that state babies can feel pain at 20 weeks gestation, although some opine that it is sooner. The most common abortion method at 20 weeks is dilation and extraction (D&E), where the child is removed piece by piece, and his or her body parts are laid onto a tray and reassembled to ensure that every bit of the baby was extracted.
The senator said that he would prefer to outlaw abortion—with exceptions, calling the practice “barbaric,” “horrendous” and a “death sentence” on innocent children, but believes being able to do so hangs on overturning Supreme Court opinion.
“If we could prohibit all abortions except in the rarest of circumstances, if we could overturn Roe V. Wade, I would be a proud sponsor of that bill,” Bramble told reporters.
As previously reported, Gov. Gary Herbert has stated that he is in favor of the concept of Bramble’s bill. He said that he is personally opposed to abortion, but also remarked that if the practice is considered legal in America, it should be carried out as “humanely” as possible.
“You know, abortion is a very emotional issue,” he told reporters at a news conference last month. “Rather than get into the abortion debate, I guess the question is: If we’re going to have abortion, what is the most humane way to do it?”
Abortion supporters protested Bramble’s bill last week, lining up outside of the Senate chambers in pink hospital gowns and holding signs such as “Keep politicians out of the exam room” and “Abortion is healthcare.”
S.B. 234 now moves to the House of Representatives for passage.
Nearly 60 million children have been murdered in the womb since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade.