Abortionists who end the life of an unborn child by tearing it limb from limb will face up to two years in jail, if a pro-life U.S. Senator has his way.
Earlier this month, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act. The bill would ban in most cases the form of abortion that is used in 95 percent of abortions in the second trimester.
“This bill brings to light what actually happens to an unborn child during an abortion,” Lankford told TheDC. “This bill doesn’t stand alone – it is part of a larger effort to protect innocent life, like redirecting funding from Planned Parenthood to community health centers, prohibiting taxpayer dollars for abortion, prohibiting abortion after twenty-weeks when we know a child can feel pain, and ensuring that a child born alive is given care.”
“We disagree on many issues as a nation, including the issue of abortion,” continued the senator. “Surely, we can all agree that dismantling a child in the womb during a late-term abortion is inhumane and is not reflective of our American values.”
The dismemberment bill doesn’t stand much of a chance of passage into law before the current session of Congress ends. Its sister House bill hasn’t received a vote in the more conservative House, and Senate Democrats have consistently opposed pro-life legislation, including by blocking a Zika funding bill that would not fund Planned Parenthood and a late-term abortion ban. A Planned Parenthood defunding bill that passed both chambers was vetoed by President Obama in January of this year.
“The Congress still has three months to work on behalf of the American people,” Lankford spokesperson DJ Jordan e-mailed. “Senator Lankford intends to continue fighting for the unborn as long as he can during this session.”
State-level dismemberment bans are part of National Right to Life’s national strategy. They have been enacted in six states, though at least two bans have been halted in court.
One of those blocks took place in the Senator’s home state of Oklahoma. In his comments to TheDC, Lankford said, “The rulings in those cases were disappointing. As Justice Kennedy pointed out in his dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart, ‘the fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.’ I believe we should never stop fighting to protect the life of the unborn.”
“Partial-birth abortion has already proved to be unconstitutional. Dismemberment abortion is another horrific late-term abortion method that should be stopped also.”
Approximately two-thirds of babies born at 22 or 23 weeks’ gestation survive if given proper care, according to a study published earlier this year. That is after the point at which unborn children can feel pain.