Ohio Senate Advances Bill to Ban Dismemberment Abortions

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Senate has approved a bill to ban dilation and evacuation abortions (D&E), also known as dismemberment abortions. The measure now moves to the House for a vote.

Senate Bill 145, presented by Sens. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, and Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 24-9.

“No person shall knowingly perform or attempt to perform a dismemberment abortion when the dismemberment abortion is not necessary, in reasonable medical judgment, to preserve the life or physical health of the mother as a result of the mother’s life or physical health being endangered by a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” the bill reads.

It defines the procedure as “dismember[ing] a living unborn child and extract[ing] the unborn child 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[ing] a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.”

It does not ban other types of abortion procedures, such as first trimester suction aspiration abortions, in which the baby is ripped out the womb by a vacuum-like device.

The measure first cleared a Senate committee on Tuesday, but not without opposition. While some pro-life members of the public attended the hearing wearing shirts bearing images of unborn children and the phrase “Don’t dismember me,” another group of 15-20 attendees wore costumes similar to those from the television series and novel “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The fictional story centers on the plight of women forced to serve as concubines and bear children for the barren wives of post-America’s theocratic leaders.

The red-robed women also sat in on the first hearing on June 13.

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“SB 145 will ban the most commonly used abortion procedure in the 2nd trimester. #OHHandmaids are here to show the impact of abortion bans,” NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio tweeted.

However, some pro-life residents who testified said that lawmakers should take the matter the whole way and ban abortion altogether.

“Ohio needs to go further and intercede to keep this barbaric and inhumane practice from continuing in our state,” said Barry Sheets.

On Wednesday, legislators spoke of the inhumanity of dismemberment abortions and their sense of duty to protect life.

“When you talk about a human being that responds to stimulus, which means they feel pain, how can you not abolish this procedure? It’s inhumane,” said Sen. Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “And trying to make this issue a man-woman thing, what if the baby in the womb is a woman? Aren’t we looking out for that woman’s rights?”

“It is the duty of the state to protect the rights of its citizens,” also remarked sponsor Huffman. “And that duty falls directly on the General Assembly of the state of Ohio and its governor.”

According to the Toledo Blade, 2,591 dismemberment abortions were performed in Ohio in 2015, the latest year on file.

Psalm 139: 13-16 reads, “For Thou hast possessed my reins; Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect, and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.”

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