Louisiana's House of Representatives have passed a bill that aims to ban a common second trimester abortion method called a D&E, in which an abortionist uses forceps to tears body parts off a live, unborn child.
House Bill 1081, also known as the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, passed Thursday in a vote of 83 yeas and 0 nays.
Republican Representative Mike Johnson, the legislator who introduced HB 1081, said in a message on Facebook: "This legislation will protect unborn babies by ending the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortion in our state. A dismemberment abortion, also known as a D&E, is a second trimester abortion method where the abortionist uses large forceps to seize and tear body parts from a live, unborn child."
"Louisiana has a long history of protecting the most vulnerable members of our society — unborn children. HB 1081 will further advance that cherished tradition."
Introduced earlier this month and also coming with unanimous support from the House Committee on Health and Welfare, HB 1081 seeks to ban dismemberment abortions save in rare circumstances.
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally perform or attempt to perform a dismemberment abortion and thereby kill an unborn child unless necessary to prevent serious health risk to the unborn child's mother," stated HB 1081.
"Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 per incidence or occurrence, or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both."
The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act also exempts from punishment the woman who receives the procedure.
"No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be thereby liable for performing or attempting to perform a dismemberment abortion," continued HB 1081.
"No nurse, technician, secretary, receptionist, or other employee or agent who is not a physician but who acts at the direction of a physician, and no pharmacist or other individual who is not a physician but who fills a prescription or provides instruments or materials used in an abortion at the direction of or to a physician shall be thereby liable for performing or attempting to perform a dismemberment abortion."
HB 1081 is not the only pro-life bill going the Louisiana legislature. House Bill 1019, which prohibits abortions based on "genetic abnormality," passed in a vote of 75-1 and House Bill 386, which extends the waiting period for an abortion, was passed in the House in early April in a vote of 89-5.