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Legislation to Ban Dismemberment Abortions Ready For the House Floor

February 15th, 2018 by Jake Stofan

In 2016 nearly 70,000 abortions were performed in the state. roughly, 4% were dismemberment abortions that would be made illegal.

The Legislation would make it a third degree felony for a doctor to perform the procedure.

In a committee hearing, Retired OBGYN Kathi Aultman described the procedure to members in graphic detail. She says performing the procedure changed her mind on abortion.

 

“Eventually I guess your conscience comes through,” said Aultman.

Barbara DeVane with the National Organization for Women was the one opponent who testified. She said lawmakers had treated pro-choice advocates poorly in prior hearings. In one case a legislator went as far to call doctors who provide abortions monsters.

 

“This shaming of women is a perfect example of why I’ll be the only one testifying,” said DeVane.

Afterwards opponents held a press conference outside the House Office building.

Jasmen Rogers with the Miami Worker’s Center says the bill would limit a woman’s right to choose, particularly for minority women.

 

“We don’t have as much, not only income, but knowledge, clinic access, healthcare access to be able to get birth control or other forms of contraception. So abortion is often times the only form of contraception we can use,” said Rogers.

Sponsor Erin Grall, says the procedure, if performed humanely,  would still be allowed.

 

“There are many providers that are already giving the injection to cause fetal demise before …the dismemberment is performed and it merely requires that additional step,”  said Grall.

Eight states have banned the procedure, but In six of those states legal challenges have prevented the bans from taking effect.

“If a woman needs it and has made that painful decision to do so, it is her right to do so,” said Representative Amy Mercado.

The bill hasn’t been heard by the Senate, but the Legislation could be used as a bargaining tool as the legislative session moves forward.

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