The West Virginia Senate passed a bill on Wednesday banning dismemberment abortions which account for about 95 percent of all abortions in the second trimester.
The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act was passed with 24-9 votes in the senate, and now goes to House of Delegates where it has bipartisan support, according to LifeSite News.
The bill will ban an abortion procedure, known as Dilation and Evacuation (D&E), where babies are extracted from the womb piece by piece, and their limbs are torn off for evacuation. It will not be applicable for babies who have been miscarried.
Doctors who carry out the D&E procedure for abortions would be liable to lose their medical licenses, should the bill passed by the West Virginia Senate become law.
Sen. Ron Stollings (D-Boone), a physician, did not vote for banning the bill, which he said was the safest second-trimester abortion method.
However, other experts say that generally no situation requires dismemberment abortions.
"In ordinary medical care, doctors have testified that there is no emergency that requires dismembering a living unborn baby," writes Wanda Franz of West Virginians for Life on the organization's website.
Dr. Anthony Levantino testified before the US House in 2012 for hearing on another Pain-Capable Unborn Child protection Act which was to be effected in Washington DC, in which he took a pro-life stance after admitting to committing about 1,200 abortions. In the testimony, he gave details of how he would remove baby's limbs by tearing them off the body. The bill was to ban abortions after 20 weeks when the baby's body is capable of feeling pain. The bill was defeated in Senate in September 2015.
Senator Dave Sypolt (R-Preston), told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that "dismemberment abortion is a barbaric practice that we wouldn't do to a criminal."
The practice was deemed illegal in Oklahoma and Kansas, but the court in both the states have blocked its enforcement. If the bill is passed in the House, West Virginia will become the third US state to ban late-term dismemberment abortion.
Similar dismemberment abortion bans have been introduced or are about to go on the floor in other states including Minnesota, Idaho, Nebraska, Kentucky, New Jersey, South Carolina, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Missouri.