OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, April 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Oklahoma has become the second state in the nation to ban the procedure of dismemberment abortions, the most common form of second-trimester abortion.
Gov. Mary Fallin signed the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act into law late last night, protecting the state's unborn babies from the process of dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion, in which unborn babies torn apart limb-from-limb.
The bill, which takes effect on November 1, passed the state legislature by lopsided majorities, clearing the state House of Representatives 84-2 in February, and the state Senate last week by a 37-4 margin.
“Governor Mary Fallin is to be commended for her quick action in signing into law the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which will prohibit this barbaric inhumanity in our state,” said Tony Lauinger, the chairman of Oklahomans For Life.
Her signature comes just one week after Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed the first-in-the-nation ban on dismemberment abortions. The Kansas state House passed the groundbreaking legislation by 98-26 vote on March 25, the date Christians traditionally celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation.
National pro-life leaders have made stamping out dismemberment of the unborn a national legislative and educational focus.
Responding to the victory in Oklahoma, National Right to Life Committee President Carol Tobias said focusing on this process “has the power to change how the public views the gruesome reality of abortion in the United States.” The NRLC's Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, said that by the point a D&E abortion would take place in the second trimester, the unborn child already has “a beating heart, brain waves, and every organ system in place.”
D&E abortion accounts for approximately 96 percent of all second trimester abortions, according to the National Abortion Federation – an estimated 100,000 abortions a year.
“So, yes, a dismemberment ban would stop many babies from being aborted,” pro-life newshound Jill Stanek wrote. But she adds that the educational value may be more important yet, since it was during the time that bills banning partial birth abortion were “introduced throughout the states and federally during the 1990s that public opinion began to change on abortion.”
The abortion industry and the mainstream media have objected to both newly enacted state laws. The New York Times assailed the Kansas ban in an editorial, calling the bill a “legislative assault” directed against “the most common method of ending a second-trimester pregnancy.” The Times adds that pro-life legislators pursued this ban “even though there is no dispute among doctors” about the procedure's “reliability.”
Dr. Anthony Levatino, a former abortionist, graphically described D&E abortions on the floor of the House of Representatives in 2012, from removing each part of the body at the joint to finally decapitating the child and extracting the skull and body fragments. “Many times a little face may come out and stare back at you,” he said.
Carole Joffe, a professor in the reproductive health program at the University of California at San Francisco, wrote in a letter to the Times, “To be sure, in the abstract, the details of dilation and evacuation abortions, as with many other medical procedures, are upsetting to many.” But, she wrote, “the availability of these abortions is essential.”
Angie Remington, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, agreed that “in all cases, a woman and her doctor need every medical option available.”
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Having tasted success in two dependably pro-life states, the right to life movement plans to move forward with additional legislative efforts nationwide. Father Frank Pavone said today that Priests for Life “has been advocating for over a decade that states begin to protect children from this procedure” and that expanding the campaign to other states “is a key priority.”