Bill in the Works to Ban Dismemberment Abortions in North Dakota


Imagine being ripped to pieces. Such is the reality for tens of thousands of unborn children each year in the United States. This barbaric — yet legal — practice is called “dilation and evacuation” or “dismemberment abortion“. Make no mistake about it, this issue cannot be sugar-coated. I’m going to give it to you straight so that you clearly understand exactly what this practice is:

“‘DISMEMBERMENT ABORTION’ means, with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, purposely to dismember a living unborn child and extract him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, and /or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off. This definition does not include an abortion which uses suction to dismember the body of the developing unborn child by sucking fetal parts into a collection container.” (Emphasis added)

(Source: National Right to Life)

A grisly description of this practice is given here by former abortionist — and now pro-life doctor — Anthony Levatino. I’ll include the video at the end of the article.

According to National Right to Life, of the roughly 1 million abortions performed annually, about 9% of them are performed in the second trimester. And of these, 96% are done through the means of dismemberment. This means that about 85,000 plus unborn children are ripped from limb to limb on an annual basis as a means of killing them. Let’s not forget… abortion means termination— of a life.

Thankfully, Concerned Citizens of ND Political Action Committee is working with multiple legislators to take a stand and end this horrendous procedure in North Dakota.

As it stands now, nine states have passed a ban on dismemberment abortions, but just two of the nine are currently in effect. As is often the case with abortion legislation, legal challenges hold up their implementation. For example, Life News recently reported on the status of a Texas ban which is being heard in The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. That law is on hold after an injunction was placed against it in November of 2017. A decision is likely months away.

Back in August, a permanent injunction against Alabama’s dismemberment ban was upheld in a 3-0 decision by the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. This decision was the first of its kind on the issue, but two of the three judges actually used the decision as an opportunity to call into question the Supreme Court’s abortion philosophy— including skepticism about abortion being a constitutional right. This certainly seems like a conflict in rationale, but the reasoning for their final decision was summed up in these words:

“In our judicial system, there is only one Supreme Court, and we are not it. Our role is to apply the law the Supreme Court has laid down to the facts the district court found.”

The Alabama law still would’ve permitted dismemberment, but required that babies be humanely killed prior to their being torn apart. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem actually signed on to an amicus brief, with 24 other Attorney General’s and Governor’s, in support of Alabama’s dismemberment ban. But they weren’t happy about the conundrum of having to support such a thing, saying they:

“… regret being placed in the incongruous position of advocating for fetal death as a humane alternative to a procedure that should have no place in a civilized society. But in light of precedent, amici strongly support the authority of States to protect both unborn life and human dignity in that small way, and thus have an interest in ensuring that courts scrutinize such regulations under the appropriate standards.”

Between the decision on Alabama’s law and the one pending for Texas, it appears the issue could indeed be headed for the Supreme Court.

So, how will the coming legislation in North Dakota differ from that of a state like Alabama? It’s very simple. The bill being proposed in the North Dakota Legislature would outright prohibit dismemberment abortions.

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time the North Dakota Legislature will tackle a bill regarding dismemberment. In 2009, Rep. Dan Ruby (R – District 38) introduced a personhood bill — HB 1572 — that would have provided “for equality and rights to all human beings at every stage of biological development”. Included in that bill was a prohibition of dismemberment. It passed the House, but was killed in the Senate by a vote of 16-29.

Unfortunately, many pro-lifers have seemingly given up on the abortion issue. And the reality is that they shouldn’t. As was pointed out in the aforementioned amicus brief:

“The Supreme Court has held that States (1) have an interest in protecting and fostering respect for human life, including unborn life, and (2) have the power to regulate the medical profession, including on matters of medical judgment and ethics connected to abortion. See Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007). As a result, not only may States prohibit specific abortion procedures that threaten to erode respect for life, but they may balance any related medical tradeoffs when they do so, on condition that they do not unduly burden the decision to obtain an abortion. Although access to an abortion is constitutionally protected, access to a particular abortion method — even a method favored by abortion providers — is not.”

With that in mind, I think it’s important to also consider this statement from National Right to Life:

“By three weeks and 1 day following fertilization, the unborn child has a beating heart and is making her own blood, often a different blood type than her mother’s. At six weeks, she has brain waves, legs, arms, eyelids, toes, and fingerprints. By eight weeks, every organ (kidneys, liver, brain, etc.) is in place, and even teeth and fingernails have developed. The unborn child can turn her head and even frown. She can kick, swim, and grasp objects placed in her hand.

“Dismemberment abortions occur after the baby has met these milestones. Any unborn child aborted using the Dismemberment Abortion procedure after 20 weeks would feel the pain of being ripped apart during the abortion.”

During the closing arguments in defense of the Texas ban on dismemberment abortions, lead attorney Darren McCarty made this compelling statement:

“It would be a dark irony, your Honor, if the same constitution that required states, correctly so, to provide a humane execution for those convicted of the most heinous crimes in our society would be the same constitution that would bar the State of Texas from banning the living dismemberment of an unborn child.”

How can any sensible person argue with that?

How can any member of the North Dakota Legislature defend such a barbaric practice?

How can we as North Dakotans continue to permit such an atrocity to continue in our state?

If this practice is allowed to continue, then there is perhaps no better example of how degenerate we’ve become as a society. It’s time to join the growing movement across the country to end the atrocity known as dismemberment abortions.

If you would like to help end dismemberment abortion in North Dakota, you can mail your contribution to:

Concerned Citizens of ND
1515 Burnt Boat Drive
Suite C Box 139
Bismarck, ND  58503



Facebook Comments
About T. Arthur Mason 883 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.