Dismemberment and the Courts

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Faith in humanity is on the fritz at the moment. For those in the pro-life movement, we’ve become accustomed to horrifying rulings from court benches. We march on Washington every year to remember the one that started it all- Roe v. Wade. So perhaps this particular ruling was just the latest in a string of judicial disappointments, as opposed to a sign of the end times, but I’m not convinced yet.

For background, earlier this year Kansas passed a law to prevent unborn babies being killed by dismemberment. Go ahead- take a moment and read over that sentence again. If it sounds shocking, it is. Last I checked, it was 2015- why is DISMEMBERING A LIVING HUMAN BEING a legal activity? In most states, dismembering a CADAVER would be considered abuse of a corpse and outside the sensibilities of society. How far have we fallen when we turn a blind eye to  killing by dismemberment a vulnerable human being?

Dismemberment abortion, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, is the most commonly used method of abortion in the second trimester.  A baby at the end of the second trimester is able to feel excruciating pain. And yet we are discussing, calmly, whether or not it should be legal to dismember them piece by piece.

However, what is shocking today isn’t that it is legal to tear apart unborn human beings, literally pulling off their arms and legs inside their mothers’ body. No, what is shocking is that after a groundbreaking attempt to ban this barbaric act, a judge blocked it. 

From the AP story:

Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks sided with New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, agreeing to put the law on hold while he considers a lawsuit filed on behalf of two Kansas abortion providers…

The new law would ban doctors from using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a live fetus to remove it from the womb in pieces. Such instruments are commonly used in dilation and evacuation procedures, but Kansas legislators said using them on a live fetus is inhumane.

Yes, Kansas legislators, it *IS* inhumane to tear apart a living human being. If one were to do this same act to a cadaver they would be charged with abuse of a corpse.

In Justice Kennedy’s dissenting opinion on Stenberg v Carhart (2000), he references abortionist LeRoy Carhart’s testimony on how abortions are performed.  (emphasis mine)

 As described by Dr. Carhart, the D&E procedure requires the abortionist to use instruments to grasp a portion (such as a foot or hand) of a developed and living fetus and drag the grasped portion out of the uterus into the vagina. Id., at 61. Dr. Carhart uses the traction created by the opening between the uterus and vagina to dismember the fetus, tearing the grasped portion away from the remainder of the body. Ibid. The traction between the uterus and vagina is essential to the procedure because attempting to abort a fetus without using that traction is described by Dr. Carhart as “pulling the cat’s tail” or “drag[ging] a string across the floor, you’ll just keep dragging it. It’s not until something grabs the other end that you are going to develop traction.” Id., at 62. The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. Id., at 63. 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. Dr. Carhart agreed that “[w]hen you pull out a piece of the fetus, let’s say, an arm or a leg and remove that, at the time just prior to removal of the portion of the fetus, … the fetus [is] alive.” Id., at 62. Dr. Carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with “extensive parts of the fetus removed,id., at 64, and testified that mere dismemberment of a limb does not always cause death because he knows of a physician who removed the arm of a fetus only to have the fetus go on to be born “as a living child with one arm.” Id., at 63. At the conclusion of a D&E abortion no intact fetus remains. In Dr. Carhart’s words, the abortionist is left with “a tray full of pieces.” Id., at 125.

By Carhart’s own testimony, the tiny human being is alive as his or her arms and legs are ripped off one by one.

This is legal.

I’ll say it again, in case it sounds too fantastical to be accurate. This. Is. Legal.

And not only is it legal, but when a state has the ethical clarity to feel squeamish at allowing such a practice, it is struck down by the judicial branch and celebrated as a victory by those in favor of abortion. They are literally “thrilled” that it is legal to dismember a human being. 

When I was in middle school a classmate challenged my pro-life activism. He couldn’t understand why I was so dedicated to a cause that was, in his mind, irrelevant, or even doomed to fail.

This is why. Because I cannot allow myself to be complacent when such barbarism is common practice. As a lover of history I frequently wonder how our descendants will judge our actions in this century. Will they wonder, as I do, how we got to this point? How we have fooled ourselves into considering our nation a civilized one. Every age has it’s own special brand of horrors, and every age has those who refuse to exchange their silence for comfort. As long as human life is considered expendable, we must not be silent.

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One comment

  1. I am glad to hear a voice of decency in this world. I have practiced medicine for 40 years. When I was in medical school from 1970-1974 I was extremely disappointed to learn that the school no longer administered the Hippocratic Oath. I learned later that the content of the oath contained the following.
    “I swear I will never give a woman a drug that would cause her to abort”
    “I swear I will never give a drug to a patient that would cause him to die”
    Obviously the issues of abortion and euthanasia were very much at the forefront of medicine from the very beginning. I am saddened that there are doctors who perform this procedure, and even more saddened that doctors who object to it are ostracized by their colleagues. This is a truly sad time. I encourage you to continue to speak out and give people the facts so that they can truly understand the heinous nature of this practice. I believe that many young women are buying into the propaganda they hear from prominent public figures, many of them Catholic. They realize only too late what they have actually done and have a lifetime to make reparations for it.
    As Catholic we have a sacred responsibility to pray, do penance, and most importantly, to speak out against this practice. I still hope that in my lifetime I might see a change of heart in this country with regard to abortion, euthanasia, and issues regarding human life.

    God Bless you

    Like

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