NRLC letter to U.S. senators urging co-sponsorship of federal Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act (S. 3306)


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Dear Senator:

The National Right to Life Committee, the federation of state right-to-life organizations, urges you to co-sponsor the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act (S. 3306), introduced on September 8 by Senator James Lankford.

This vital pro-life legislation would prohibit the performance of dismemberment abortion.

S. 3306 is based on NRLC model legislation that was enacted during 2015 in Kansas and Oklahoma, and this year in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

S. 3306 defines “dismemberment abortion” as “knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the 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 in order to cut or rip it off . . .”

This definition largely overlaps with what those in the abortion trade currently refer to as “dilation and evacuation” or “dilation and extraction” (D&E) abortions. The method is commonly used starting at about 14 weeks of pregnancy, and extending into the third trimester.

S. 3306 allows performance of a dismemberment abortion if necessary to save a mother’s life. The bill also says that it does not limit abortions performed in cases of rape or incest, if performed by a method other than dismemberment abortion.

In his dissent in the 2000 case of Stenberg v. Carhart, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote regarding D&E abortion: “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.”

A medical illustration of a D&E dismemberment abortion is available here: www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/deabortiongraphic

If you agree that an unborn child should not be subjected to the cruel violence of having her arms and legs torn off by brute force, with steel tools that grasp, tear, and crush, please co-sponsor the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act. Thank you for your consideration of the importance placed by our organization on this landmark legislation.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Tobias
President

David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Douglas D. Johnson
Legislative Director