On Monday, Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania House agreed to postpone a floor debate and vote on HB 1948, a bill to ban both dismemberment abortions and abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Action on the bill was slated for this week, but was halted in the face of public pressure from a Monday press conference featuring Democrat Governor Tom Wolf, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, and post-abortive women who oppose the bill.
As Live Action News covered last week, Republican lawmakers supporting the bill noted that twenty weeks “has been shown to be when all babies are capable of feeling pain and when the likelihood of a substantial complication for the mother seems to increase.”
The type of abortion typically performed in the second trimester (from 13 to 24 weeks) is called a D&E (dilatation and evacuation). AbortionProcedures.com describes what the procedure entails – and makes it clear why it is often referred to as a “dismemberment” abortion:
After the amniotic fluid is removed, the abortionist uses a sopher clamp — a grasping instrument with rows of sharp “teeth” — to grasp and pull the baby’s arms and legs, tearing the limbs from the child’s body. The abortionist continues to grasp intestines, spine, heart, lungs, and any other limbs or body parts. The most difficult part of the procedure is usually finding, grasping and crushing the baby’s head. After removing pieces of the child’s skull, the abortionist uses a curette to scrape the uterus and remove the placenta and any remaining parts of the baby.
Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino discusses a D&E abortion in the video below:
House Republican majority spokesman Steve Miskin told Penn Live that HB 1948 was unlikely to receive a floor vote for the rest of the week, citing the need to address other business.
Others told the paper some had already been wavering about taking up such controversial issues without a guarantee the legislation would go anywhere in the Senate, and one suggested, on condition of anonymity, that dropping it has violated a promise that it would receive at least a debate in exchange for not defunding Planned Parenthood during budget negotiations.