Ohio Bans Dismemberment Abortions

A demonstrator holds a plastic doll shaped like a fetus during a Catholic church event against the legalization of abortion, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. A public hearing to discuss the decriminalization of abortion in Latin America's biggest country will be held Friday at Brazil's Supreme …
AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed into law a measure that bans dismemberment abortions in the state.

The common second trimester abortion procedure – also known as dilation and evacuation (D&E) – involves dilating the mother’s cervix and then removing the baby’s limbs using surgical instruments prior to extracting his or her remains from the uterus.

“Ohio Right to Life is immensely grateful to our governor and our pro-life legislature for prioritizing this crucial legislation,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, adding:

Ohio Right to Life has seen 21 pro-life initiatives become law in the last eight years. All of these initiatives have led to abortions decreasing by more than 25% in Ohio, and half of Ohio’s abortion clinics shutting down. With four years of pro-life Governor-elect Mike DeWine ahead of us, the prospect of ending abortion in Ohio has never looked better.

Abortionists who perform dismemberment abortions in defiance of the law could face fourth-degree felony charges, including a jail sentence and fines, reports Fox 31.

The new law provides an exception for cases in which the mother’s life is at risk, but none for rape or incest.

In 2017, the Ohio Department of Health reported nearly 3,500 dismemberment abortions in the state.

Similar dismemberment abortion bans have been enacted in nine other states, and introduced in 17 other states in the past three years. Fox 31 reports that of the nine other states that have enacted such a ban, only those in Mississippi and West Virginia have not been temporarily blocked by the courts.

The Dismemberment Abortion Ban will go into effect in March 2019.

Planned Parenthood condemned the dismemberment ban and hinted at a challenge:

Iris Harvey, president of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, called the ban “extreme legislation to turn medical decision-making into political ideology.”

“Patients, and the medical providers who serve them, rely on the overwhelming medical evidence that shows abortion is one of the safest medical procedures,” Harvey added. “The method ban dangerously limits people’s options, undermines patients’ constitutional right to access safe, legal abortion, and compromises medical providers’ decision making.”

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