Dismemberment Abortion Trial Ends; ‘Moment of Death’ in Balance


AUSTIN –The Dismemberment Abortion Ban trial concluded today with more important testimony and closing arguments. Texas Values’ attorney and president was present in the courtroom.

The ban (SB 8), now in state law and supported by a wide margin in the Texas Legislature, prohibits the barbaric practice tearing limbs from babies still in the womb as far along as 22 weeks. The brutal procedure is threatening to the mother as well, and only represents a tiny portion of the 50,000 abortions performed a year in Texas. Texas Values supported SB 8 (85th Legislature, 2017), which includes a specific ban on dismemberment abortion.

While abortion advocates claimed that banning dismemberment abortions reminded them of more them of the past, the Texas Attorney General’s office (Darren McCarty) countered that “banning dismemberment abortions is a sign of a progressive society” while holding a doctor’s forceps and displaying a graphic in court or the butchered pieces of dismembered second trimester unborn child.  The state conceded that SB 8 does not ban the dilation and extraction (D&E) procedure itself, SB 8 merely “regulates the moment of death” and prevents the tearing apart of the living child limb by limb.

The state argued that there are other abortion methods that can be used for second trimester abortions (other than dismemberment) that are “more humane” and “respect life.” Other methods that abortion doctors admitted at trial that they use are digoxin or potassium chloride chemicals that cause “fetal demise” without ripping the child apart.  Abortion advocates claimed that these other methods were less safe but the state pointed directly to a medical consent form used by one of the abortion plaintiffs (Southwestern) that stated the abortions are “safer and easier” when you use digoxin to cause “fetal demise.”

The court also heard testimony from Dr. Colleen Malloy who stated that it’s possible for second trimester babies to feel pain.

“We have decency and dignity standards for state execution, but not abortions. It was hard to hear testimony about the brutal dismemberment abortion procedure in live court. One can only imagine how awful it is to subject a live human being to such a barbaric practice. The state of Texas was well represented by Attorney General Ken Paxton’s team.  We fully expect the court to put an end to this horror. said Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values, who was in the courtroom.

“One of the most compelling moments in today’s closing arguments was seeing a butchered 2nd trimester fetus that had been killed by a dismemberment abortion. The defendants clearly exhibited that the act of tearing a fetus apart limb by limb is not only barbaric, but even the abortionists admit that there are safer and easier’ practices. SB 8 must be upheld and ban this gruesome and dangerous procedure,” said Nicole Hudgens, policy analyst for Texas Values, also in the courtroom.

Judge Yeakel is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks before the current temporary restraining order expires.

Dismemberment abortion laws are on the books in West Virginia and Mississippi, but challenges to similar laws in Arkansas and Alabama were successful in the trial courts. Oklahoma’s law is currently being challenged.

Dismemberment abortions are carried out on babies as old as 22 weeks but are typically performed on babies in the womb at or near 15 weeks. There is an exception in the law for medical emergency.  In live dismemberment, the abortionist literally tears a fully formed child apart limb by limb, until it bleeds to death and is removed from the mother’s womb. The D & E abortion procedure often includes this tearing apart.

The case is Whole Women’s Health v. Paxton. It is being heard in the courtroom of Judge Lee Yeakel for the United States District Court of the Western District of Texas.

Previous coverage:

Dismemberment Abortion Trial Begins Today, Exposes Truth About Abortion In Texas (Nov. 2, 2017)

Doctor: Dismemberment Abortion Is ‘Absolutely Brutal;’ Trial Continues (Nov. 8, 2017)

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