Alabama asking Supreme Court to review dismemberment abortion case
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MONTGOMERY, November 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The state of Alabama wants the United States Supreme Court to take up the case of its ban on the practice known as dismemberment abortions, following an appellate court panel striking down the 2016 law in August.
That year, the state enacted a ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, given the “dismemberment” label because they function by tearing a pre-born baby apart limb by limb.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson blocked the law in 2017, and this August a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his decision. It ruled that while the state “has an actual and substantial interest in lessening, as much as it can, the gruesomeness and brutality of dismemberment abortions,” current Supreme Court precedent ultimately means that states “cannot forbid this method of abortion entirely.”
At the time, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall took heart that the ruling “recognized the State's important and legitimate interests in ending barbaric abortion procedures,” and that Judge Joel Dubina wrote a separate opinion declaring that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.
This week, Marshall requested that the nation’s highest court grant the state an additional 30 days to prepare a petition for review, according to U.S. News & World Report.
“The constitutionality of a state ban on dismemberment abortion is an important question of national significance. Litigation over similar abortion laws is pending in several other courts,” wrote attorneys for the state. Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia have similar bans, but most are currently facing legal battles.
Pro-lifers argue that dismemberment abortion bans are compatible with Roe. Pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens admitted in Stenberg v. Carhart that partial-birth abortion and dismemberment abortion were “equally gruesome,” and it was “simply irrational” to conclude that one was “more akin to infanticide than the other.” 2000’s Stenberg struck down the federal partial-birth abortion ban, but Gonzales v. Carhart upheld it in 2007.
Defenders of dismemberment abortions claim they’re the safest procedure for most second-trimester pregnancies, and banning it only drives women to more dangerous methods. Every abortion, though, is dangerous for the tiny human who is destroyed. Pro-lifers suggest that abortionists prefer D&E abortions because they can fit more into their schedule (and by extension make more money), and make it easier to obtain fetal organs to sell.
Abortion defenders also take offense at the grisly “dismemberment” label, but the National Abortion Federation’s own instructional materials describe “grasping a fetal part,” then “withdraw(ing) the forceps while gently rotating it,” for the purpose of achieving “separation.” Additionally, notorious late-term abortionist Warren Hern admits, “the sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current” during a D&E procedure.
“We must make the womb a safe place again,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said in response to the 11th Circuit. “This case or one like it cries out to the Supreme Court Justices to reverse the horrible abortion decisions.”
According to the Marist Institute’s most recent annual survey on the subject, only 20 percent of Americans think elective abortions should be available past the first trimester. Gallup polls consistently find a majority of Americans would ban most abortions.