Louisiana AG leads 21 states challenging dismemberment abortions at Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. February 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is leading a coalition of 20 other states before the U.S. Supreme Court to support Alabama legislation prohibiting the dismemberment of living, unborn children during abortions.
In an email to LifeSiteNews, Landry stated: “I cannot think of a more horrific action than ripping a baby apart, limb by limb. We require more humane methods when executing the most heinous criminals. I will do all I can to put an end to this monstrous practice.”
In a press release, Landry said: “Louisiana is an unapologetically pro-life state; and as its chief legal officer, I will continue defending the dignity of the unborn.”
“Abortion by dismemberment kills fetuses by tearing them limb from limb while they are still alive in the womb,” said Landry, according to the statement. “Not only is this type of abortion gruesome, but duly-elected state legislatures have also ruled it unlawful because it diminishes respect for human life and ethics of the medical profession.”
Abortionists refer to dismemberment abortions as “dilation and evacuation.”
The amicus brief filed by Landry and other states asks the initial question: “Whether a state ban on dismemberment abortions is unconstitutional where there is a reasonable medical debate that alternatives to the banned procedure are safe?”
Landry joined in the brief with attorneys general from Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia, as well as the governor of Kentucky.
According to Landry, while courts have preserved a supposed right to abortion even though they have not protected access to particular methods of abortion, “The law prohibits animals or death-row inmates from being killed by dismemberment, and the same protections should be provided for defenseless unborn children.”
Alabama, Louisiana and a number of other states have laws on the books banning dismemberment as a form of abortion, according to Landry’s statement. After Louisiana’s governor signed Act 264 into law in 2016, thus banning dismemberment abortion, several abortion providers presented challenges to several Louisiana laws.
While citing Gonzales v. Carhart of 2007, the amicus brief notes that the Supreme Court has held that states have “an interest in protecting and fostering respect for human life, including unborn life,” and “have the power to regulate the medical profession, including on matters of medical judgment and ethics connected to abortion.”
The brief cites dismemberment as a “an exceptionally grisly” abortion method that is potentially worse than the “partial birth” procedure at issue in Gonzales v. Carhart. “The abortions here,” said the brief, “referred to as ‘dismemberment’ abortions, kill fetuses quite literally by tearing them limb from limb while they are still alive in the womb and possibly capable of feeling pain.”
Expressing concern that the procedure “compromises public respect for life, not to mention the ethics of the medical profession,” it said, “Many states would prefer to prohibit the procedure altogether.” However, because the Supreme Court has recognized a right to abortion, the brief said, “Alabama has instead sought simply to moderate the dismemberment procedure by requiring that abortion providers use available methods to kill fetuses before dismembering them.”