Alabama Becomes Fifth State to Ban Dismemberment Abortions

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley speaks during the memorial for the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth at Faith Baptist Chapel in Birmingham, Alabama, October 24, 2011. Shuttlesworth, known for his relentless drive to fight for an end to segregation in the late 1950s and '60s, died after a long illness at Baptist Princeton Hospital in Birmingham on October 5, 2011. |

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley recently made his state the fifth to ban an abortion procedure in which a human fetus is dismembered in the womb and removed piece-by-piece.

Governor Bentley signed Senate Bill 363 Thursday, having Alabama join Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia in banning dismemberment abortions.

Alabama Citizens for Life National Director Cheryl Ciamarra praised the passage of SB 363, which was titled the "Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act."

SB 95, Kansas, Dismemberment Abortion, dilation and evacuation

"Governor Robert Bentley is to be commended for his action in signing into law the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which will prohibit this barbaric inhumanity in our state," said Ciamarra in a statement.

"We appreciate the exceptional leadership of Senator Phil Williams and Representatives Mack Butler for spearheading the enactment of this landmark lifesaving legislation."

SB 363 was introduced by Republican Senator Phil Williams in March.

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be unlawful for any individual to purposely perform or attempt to perform a dismemberment abortion and thereby kill an unborn child unless necessary to prevent serious health risk to the unborn child's mother," reads SB 363.

"No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be thereby liable for performing or attempting to perform a dismemberment abortion."

The Act received strong support within both chambers, as the Senate approved the bill in a vote of 30-2 and the House of Representatives approved it in a vote of 74-26.

Legislators in the states of Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nebraska are mulling similar bills, with Louisiana's House of Representatives unanimously passing the legislation in late April.

In a vote of 83-0 Louisiana's House Bill 1081, also called the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, passed the lower house of the state legislature.

Republican Representative Mike Johnson, who introduced HB 1081, wrote in a message on Facebook celebrating the unanimous vote.

"This legislation will protect unborn babies by ending the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortion in our state. A dismemberment abortion, also known as a D&E, is a second trimester abortion method where the abortionist uses large forceps to seize and tear body parts from a live, unborn child," wrote Johnson.

"Louisiana has a long history of protecting the most vulnerable members of our society — unborn children. HB 1081 will further advance that cherished tradition."

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