Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Banning Dismemberment Abortions, Leaving Other Methods Legal

Bryant-compressedJACKSON, Miss. — The Republican governor of Mississippi has signed into law a bill that makes it illegal for abortionists to perform dilation and evacuation abortions (D&E) in the state, also known as dismemberment abortions.

“We’re making Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a statement on Twitter on Friday.

H.B. 519, also known as the “Mississippi Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” was authored by Rep. Sam Mims, R-McComb, and passed the House on April 5 with a vote of 85-32.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be unlawful 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,” it reads.

The bill defines a dismemberment abortion as “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, and/or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.” The procedure is common in second trimester abortions.

The legislation notes that the prohibition does not ban other abortion methods, as it “does not include an abortion that uses suction to dismember the body of the unborn child by sucking fetal parts into a collection container.” Suction aspiration abortions are common in the first trimester.

Diane Derzis, the owner of the last remaining abortion facility in Mississippi, told reporters that the law will not affect Jackson Women’s Health Organization as it does not perform second trimester abortions.

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As previously reported, Derzis and abortionist Willie Parker both profess to be Christians and assert that they are doing the Lord’s work in ending the lives of unborn babies. Derzis was featured on ABC’s Nightline in 2013, as she contended to reporters that God was on her side in the abortion business.

“I know as fervently as they do that what I’m doing is moral and right,” she stated. “But if I’m wrong, that’s between the Lord and I.”

News footage also showed Christian Cal Zastrow calling out to Derzis, “I want you to quit killing babies. I want you to turn to the love of Jesus.”

“I have the love of Jesus,” she replied. “He approves of what I do.”

“No, you don’t,” Zastrow responded. “You have the murder of preborn children.”

“The protesters say they’re opposed to abortion because they’re Christian,” Parker told Esquire in 2014 in an article entitled “The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker.” “It’s hard for them to accept that I do abortions because I’m a Christian.”

While the dismemberment ban will not result in the closure of the last remaining abortion facility in Mississippi, abortion advocacy groups have expressed opposition to the law nonetheless.

“Governor Bryant just signed a clear attack on women’s health care as part of a plan to ban abortion across the board,” Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood will continue to fight to protect the rights of our patients and their access to safe medical care, no matter what.”

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