COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Ohio Senate approved a ban on dismemberment abortion — the procedure most often used after the second trimester — on Wednesday afternoon.
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban (SB 145) passed the Senate in a 24-9 vote and will go before the Ohio House this fall after the summer recess.
Dismemberment abortion, or the dilation and evacuation procedure, involves using steel instruments to extract the unborn child from the mother’s uterus in pieces after her cervix is dilated. This grim method is usually performed between 13-24 weeks’ gestation.
Approximately 3,000 D&E abortions were performed in Ohio in 2015, according to Ohio Department of Health statistics. Nationally, 95 percent of second-trimester abortions are done via the D&E method.
Ohio’s SB 145 defines dismemberment as “with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, to dismember a living unborn child and extract the unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors, or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, or grasp a portion of the unborn child's body to cut or rip it off.”
“In Ohio, pigs are treated more humanely than humans,” Mark Harrington, national director for the Ohio-based pro-life group Created Equal, told LifeSiteNews. “At least they are sedated before they are killed. With dismemberment abortions, thousands of babies are routinely torn apart piece by piece, limb by limb, each year. With the passage of this bill in the Ohio Senate, Ohio is now one step closer to ending this brutal method of murdering babies.”
The dismemberment ban had passed the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday along party lines before going before the full Ohio Senate on Wednesday.
Members of Created Equal filled the front row of the committee hearing room with t-shirts showing a 20-week-old unborn child with the message “Don’t Dismember Me.”
Abortion activist groups NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Women Have Options staged protests in the back of the room, NBC-4 reported.
The pro-abortion protest consisted of women dressed as handmaids wearing red robes and white hats standing in a line.
The pro-abort reference is derived from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale, recently made into a Hulu television series. The tale is set in a near-future U.S. totalitarian society led by men and afflicted with infertility. Childbearing women are forced to become “handmaids” and produce babies with the men in charge.
Representatives from NARAL’s Ohio contingent testified in the Senate hearing against the law.
NARAL Ohio spokeswoman Jaime Miracle had told lawmakers the bill is unconstitutional, bad medicine, and bad for Ohio.
“The state of Ohio should be in the practice of making sure that our doctors are providing the best care they can to their patients and this bill does the exact opposite of this,” she said.
Miracle also said the bill would leave doctors with limited second-trimester abortion options, and such options are not as safe.
However, Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Dayton, questioned the bill’s opponents during Tuesday’s hearing.
“You constantly refer to this as the safest method of abortion,” Lehner said. “Does your organization have a concern for the humanity or the humaneness of the procedure?”
Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said the legislation is part of a larger pro-life national agenda.
“The inhumanity of a dismemberment abortion leaves the rest of Ohio and America in shock,” Gonidakis said.
Eight states so far have outlawed dismemberment abortions since 2015, according to the National Right to Life Committee. Those states are Kansas (2015), Oklahoma (2015), West Virginia (2016), Mississippi, (2016), Alabama (2016), Louisiana (2016), Arkansas (2017), and Texas (2017).