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Indiana gov. signs laws banning dismemberment abortions, strengthening pro-life conscience rights

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INDIANAPOLIS, April 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law two pieces of pro-life legislation this week, one to ban dismemberment abortion procedures and another to allow more types of health professionals to opt out of providing abortion-related services.

The Indiana Senate gave final approval to both measures earlier this month, and Holcomb signed both into law without comment, NWI Times reports. Both will take effect starting July 1.

The dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedure, common in the second trimester, is more commonly known as “dismemberment abortion” because it functions by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb. 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,” for the purpose of achieving “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.

The other new law ensures that nurses, pharmacists and physician assistants can refuse to participate in abortions or dispense abortifacient drugs, extending to them a right already enjoyed by doctors, health clinic staffers, and other types of hospital employees in the state.

"Chemical abortions are on the rise in Indiana,” Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fichter, President said upon the bill’s passage. “As more women seek chemical abortions that use pills, pharmacists and other health care workers may become unwilling participants in an abortion. Thank you to Sen. Brown for authoring this conscience protection bill. All health care providers must be able to practice their profession in Indiana without helping to end a child’s life against their conscience.”

The Indiana chapter of the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) quickly filed a lawsuit against the dismemberment abortion ban, the Indianapolis Star reports. “HEA 1211 will discourage women from obtaining abortions and will impose a substantial and unwarranted burden on women’s ability to obtain second-trimester, pre-viability, abortions,” ACLU Indiana legal director Ken Falk claimed. “In addition, doctors have an ethical obligation not to subject their patients to potentially harmful procedures that provide no medical benefit.”

The issue is already a live one in the federal courts; last month a federal judge temporarily blocked Ohio from enforcing its own dismemberment abortion ban. In February, a coalition of 21 states asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review and uphold Alabama’s ban.

“Many States, after all, would prefer to prohibit dismemberment altogether,” they argued. “It is also undeniably unfortunate for a State to have to defend unborn life by replacing horrific fetal deaths with more merciful ones. But States that do not sanction abortion as a rule nonetheless regard efforts to make abortion procedures marginally more humane as an important second-best means to assert their interest in respecting life.

“By limiting use of particularly ‘brutal’ abortion procedures, id. at 160, States further respect for life, both in society at large and in the medical profession in particular,” their brief continued, citing the Supreme Court’s Gonzales v. Carhart ruling that upheld the federal partial-birth abortion ban. “They also protect women from the deep grief many of them are likely to feel if and when they later discover exactly how their unborn children were killed.”

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