US senator introduces bill to ban dismemberment abortions nationwide
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Dismembering a child in the womb is not merely ghastly, it should be punished with potentially crippling financial damages and multiple years in prison, according to one of the nation’s foremost pro-life leaders.
Earlier this month, Sen. James Lankford, R-OK, introduced a nationwide ban on dismemberment abortions (S. 3306).
The proposed law would make it illegal for an abortionist to “knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the 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 in order to cut or rip it off.”
Any abortionist found guilty of performing the procedure, commonly known as dilation and evacuation, or dilation and extraction (D&E) abortion, would be subject to fines and up to two years in prison.
The mother, or her parents if she is a minor, could also file a lawsuit in civil court against the abortionist, opening the door to massive fiscal settlements.
Sen. Lankford said he felt compelled to introduce this bill in the U.S. Senate because, while many other issues compete for national attention, “we must also work for social justice for all Americans.”
“We disagree on many issues as a nation, including the issue of abortion,” he said. “However, because of technological advancements, we clearly know that pre-born children feel pain. Surely we can all agree that dismantling a child in the womb during a late-term abortion is inhumane and is not reflective of American values.”
The national mood may be turning against D&E abortions, which make up approximately 95 percent of abortions in the second trimester. A video produced by Live Action and narrated by Dr. Anthony Levatino, who performed more than 1,2000 abortions, describing dismemberment abortion went viral this year.
But not all agree. Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor, Tom Wolf, has said that banning dismemberment abortions would be “a huge step backward.”
Sen. Lankford’s bill immediately won the support of leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said that the bill should be supported by “all who stand for dignity anywhere.”
“This bill is a commonsense measure to protect the unborn, mothers and families from deceptive and manipulative medical practices,” he said. Dismemberment abortion is “a callous, gruesome form of human piracy, often carried out to satisfy financial greed.”
Moore presented Sen. Lankford with a “Pro-Life Leader” award at the first-ever Evangelicals for Life event at this year’s national March for Life.
Congressman Chris Smith introduced the House version of the bill on September 16, 2015. It has 24 co-sponsors and has been assigned to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution and Civil Justice.