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Woman holding an ultrasound scan of her unborn

JACKSON, Mississippi, April 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)— Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) today signed into law the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which will ban dismemberment abortions in Mississippi starting July 1.

Dismemberment abortions, also known as “dilation and evacuation” or “D&E” abortions, involve dilating a woman’s cervix and then using a sopher clamp and curette blade to dismember an unborn child and remove his or her body parts.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which was sponsored by Representative Sam C. Mims, R-McComb, passed the state House of Representatives 83-33 in February, and the state Senate 40-6 last month. 

“Banning dismemberment abortion in Mississippi has the potential to transform the debate when people realize that living unborn children are being killed by being torn limb from limb,” said National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D.

In his dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart decision, Justice Kennedy observed that in D&E dismemberment abortions, “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.”

Dismemberment abortions are typically committed during the second trimester of pregnancy.

“When abortion textbooks describe in cold, explicit detail exactly how to kill a human being by ripping off arms and legs piece by piece, civilized members of society have no choice but to stand up and demand a change,” said Spaulding Balch. “When you think it can't be uglier, the abortion industry continues to shock with violent methods of abortion.”

“Dismemberment of preborn children has to end in Mississippi to achieve basic human rights for our state,” Anja Scheib, president of Mississippi State Students for Life, told LifeSiteNews.  “Mississippi has the opportunity to lead the nation in this basic human right” of life.

In March, the West Virginia senate voted to override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of a similar bill.  Kansas and Oklahoma banned dismemberment abortions last year.

“Mississippi has taken a courageous and righteous step toward protecting children in the womb from the barbarity of a dismemberment abortion,” Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, told LifeSiteNews. “Gov. Phil Bryant, state legislators and every resident of Mississippi have reason to be proud today.”