BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana has become the sixth state to ban dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, also known as dismemberment abortions, while leaving other methods used to murder unborn children legal.
As previously reported, H.B. 1081, also known as the “Louisiana Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” passed the House of Representative unanimously last month. On Tuesday, it passed the Senate 36-2 and moved to the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is expected to sign the legislation into law.
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally 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,” the bill reads.
The bill defines a dismemberment abortion as to “purposely 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 a similar instrument that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slices, crushes, or grasps a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off or apart.”
The legislation notes that the prohibition does not ban other abortion methods, as it “does not include an abortion which uses suction to dismember the body of an unborn child by vacuuming fetal parts into a collection container.” Suction aspiration abortions are common in the first trimester.
Johnson told the Manship News Service that he proposed the bill because of his opposition to the pain the unborn child feels in being dismembered.
“Every year unborn children are subjected to a gruesome practice. The fetus in many cases dies just as an adult would. It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb. There are many who say this is the preferred method not because it better but because it is cheaper,” he said.
Violators may face up to two years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
In the 2000 U.S. case decision of Stenberg v. Carhart, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his dissent in regard to D&E procedures, “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.”
Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi have all banned the procedure.