February 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood’s Ohio affiliates took the state to federal court Thursday in an effort to strike down its recently-enacted ban on the dismemberment abortion procedure commonly used in the second trimester.
In December, former Republican Gov. John Kasich signed a law banning dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, also called dismemberment abortions because they function by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb (as confirmed by the National Abortion Federation’s own instructional materials, despite abortion defenders’ complaints about the name).
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, calls the law the latest in a series of “burdensome, medically unnecessary restrictions on women’s access to abortion, exacerbating the burdens women already face in accessing care,” WCPO reported.
It argues that D&E is the state’s only option for outpatient abortion methods in the second trimester, and banning it would force abortionists to employ the “inpatient induction abortion procedure, in which physicians use medications to induce labor and delivery of a non-viable fetus.” These, Planned Parenthood claims, are more expensive and more dangerous because they carry “all the pain and potential for complications” of labor.
This is a common argument in defense of dismemberment abortions, to which which pro-lifers respond by arguing that abortionists actually prefer D&E procedures because they can fit more into their schedule (thereby making more money), and because they make it easier to obtain fetal organs to sell.
“This law, should it go into effect, would prohibit the barbaric dismemberment abortion procedure, in which an abortionist first dilates the woman's cervix, and then uses steel instruments to dismember the living, unborn baby,” Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gonidakis responded, saying he was “frustrated but not surprised” by the suit. “It's hard to imagine how Planned Parenthood could be in support of a procedure which allows living unborn babies to be ripped limb from limb.”
While the suit threatens to block implementation of the Ohio law, Alabama’s 2016 ban on the procedure is already making its way through the court system, and 21 states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review its constitutionality, which presumably would ultimately render the Ohio dispute moot if they take the case.
“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 pro-life brief argues, 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, id. at 159, while encouraging the medical profession to ‘find different and less shocking methods to abort the fetus.’”
Ohio is also likely to face a legal battle over banning abortion for nearly any baby with a detectable heartbeat, which Kasich vetoed but has been reintroduced and is likely to be signed by his successor, Gov. Mike DeWine.