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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Mississippi Gov. Signs Bill Banning Dismemberment Abortions

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Apr 18
  • Comments

The state of Mississippi has passed a law that prohibits dismemberment abortions, a procedure which will be punishable by law starting July 1, 2016.


Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill into law after it passed 83-33 in the House of Representatives in February and 40-6 in the Senate last month.


The procedure, also known as “dilation and evacuation” or “D&E,” involves dilating a woman’s cervix and then using a sopher clamp and curette blade to extract the unborn child from the womb limb by limb, according to Christian Today.


The procedure has been highly criticized by pro-life advocates.


Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in his dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart decision, stated that  "the fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb. 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."


Others, such as National Right to Life Direction of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, believes that raising awareness for how gruesome a process dismemberment abortion is “has the potential to transform the debate when people realise that living unborn children are killed by being torn limb from limb." 


Many pro-life advocates praised Mississippi’s new law.


Gov. Bryant stated that “We’re making Mississippi the safest place in America for an unborn child.”


Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, also praised the law:


“Mississippi has taken a courageous and righteous step toward protecting children in the womb from the barbarity of a dismemberment abortion," he said.


Pro-abortion advocates, however, see the law as an assault on women’s rights.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in statement that the new law is "a clear attack on women's health care as part of a plan to ban abortion across the board.”



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Publication date: April 18, 2016