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Federal judge strikes down Kentucky ban on gruesome dismemberment abortion procedures

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May 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Kentucky cannot ban the second-trimester abortion procedure infamous for dismembering babies in the womb, U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley declared Friday in a ruling state leaders plan to appeal.

Last year, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed HB 454 into law, which bans the dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedure. D&Es are more commonly known as “dismemberment abortions” because they function by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb. The left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) quickly sued, and on Friday McKinley sided with them, the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

McKinley, a Bill Clinton appointee, based his ruling on the fact that the ban limits abortion options starting at around 14 weeks, which is well before the U.S. Supreme Court’s “viability” threshold, despite the fact that it still allows second-trimester abortions via other methods.

Pro-abortion activists have objected to the “dismemberment” label as inflammatory and misleading, but the abortion industry itself has effectively admitted its accuracy. The National Abortion Federation’s own instructional materials describe “grasping a fetal part,” then “withdraw[ing] the forceps while gently rotating it” to achieve “separation,” and notorious late-term abortionist Warren Hern has written, “there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator [of D&E procedures]. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”

Defenders also claim dismemberment abortions are the safest second-trimester procedure available (for the mother), but pro-lifers suspect abortionists actually prefer D&E abortions because they can fit more into their schedule, and therefore make more money. “Dismemberment abortion facilitates fetal harvesting,” Kansans for Life executive director Kay Culp told LifeSiteNews last year. “Clinicians experimenting on aborted baby parts don’t want their research tainted by drugs, and, they want fresh organs – packed for shipping within minutes of death.”

"Laws like this are part of an orchestrated national strategy by anti-abortion politicians to push abortion out of reach entirely,” declared Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, an attorney with the ACLU’s so-called Reproductive Freedom Project. “Today’s decision holds — in no uncertain terms — that Kentuckians and the care they need come first."

"We profoundly disagree with the court’s decision and will take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, to protect unborn children from being dismembered limb by limb while still alive," said Bevin spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn, confirming the governor’s commitment to appealing the ruling.

The issue may already be working its way to the nation’s highest court; in February, a coalition of 21 states asked the Supreme Court to review and uphold Alabama’s dismemberment ban.

Ban supporters note that in 2000’s Stenberg v. Carhart, the pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens admitted that partial-birth abortion and dismemberment abortion were “equally gruesome,” and that it was “simply irrational” to conclude that one was “more akin to infanticide than the other.” Stenberg struck down the federal partial-birth abortion ban, but Gonzales v. Carhart ultimately upheld it in 2007.

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