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July 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Friday, Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong upheld the state’s 2015 ban on the second-trimester abortion procedure known as dismemberment abortion, to the chagrin of the abortion lobby.

House Bill 1721, the Oklahoma Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act of 2015, bans the dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedure except to save a mother’s life or “health,” the Associated Press reports. D&E abortions are more commonly known as “dismemberment abortions” because they function by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb.

The law has been blocked from taking effect ever since it was passed due to a lawsuit by the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) representing the Tulsa Women’s Clinic abortion facility, Courthouse News reports, but Truong rejected CRR’s request to invalidate the law entirely.

“It’s essentially a back-door ban on abortion itself,” CRR litigation director Julie Rikelman complained. “What it bans is the procedure that’s the standard of care for abortion after approximately 14 weeks.” She added that the group is currently “trying to evaluate all of the next steps we can take” to block the law, including an appeal to the pro-abortion Oklahoma Supreme Court.

“Dismemberment abortions are barbaric, brutal and subject unborn children to more cruelty that we allow for death row inmates,” the state’s Republican Attorney General Mike Hunter responded to the ruling. “It is unconscionable to think that we would allow this practice to continue. Judge Truong is to be commended for declaring this legislation constitutional. Today is a major victory for basic human decency in Oklahoma.”

Pro-abortion activists object to the “dismemberment” label as inflammatory and misleading, even though 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.” Furthermore, 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.”

Legally, pro-lifers 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. 

Nevertheless, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to help resolve the current legal battle, opting last month not to hear arguments over Alabama’s dismemberment abortion ban.