Earlier this year, New York State enacted a law eliminating nearly all reasonable abortion restrictions and repealing criminal charges for harming unborn children. It also allowed abortions to occur virtually up to the time of natural birth.
The New York action is an example of a disturbing trend to allow abortion on demand – devaluing human life and tearing our morality as a nation apart.
Michigan, on the other hand, has a long tradition of protecting vulnerable and unborn lives. In that tradition, I was proud to recently introduce a bill banning the violent practice known as dismemberment abortion, which is a direct affront to the sanctity of life.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, this procedure accounted for 1,777 reported abortions in our state in 2017 and accounted for more than 80% of late abortions.
Like partial-birth abortion, mutilation abortion shocks the conscience, and it’s time we did something about it. The procedure is difficult to adequately describe without sickening people, but essentially a doctor uses an instrument to dismember and remove a living, developed fetus into pieces – limb by limb.
Senate Bills 229 and 230 would expand the current ban on partial birth abortion to prevent doctors from also performing mutilation procedures. Notably, the proposed laws include an exemption to protect the life of the mother and would punish the person who performs abortion by mutilation, not a woman who seeks or obtains it.
I know “abortion by dismemberment” is a graphic term, but it accurately describes what my bill seeks to stop. Every time one of these innocents is torn apart in the womb, we tear apart that child’s unique potential, all of their dreams and ambitions, and the joy that child would bring to others.
If you feel alarmed by this, you are not alone. According to a May 2018 Gallup poll, more than 80% of Americans think abortion should be illegal in the last three months of pregnancy, and 65% think it should be banned in the second trimester as well.
In 2008, the Michigan Legislature passed a partial-birth abortion ban that provides the basis for this legislation with large bipartisan majorities in a Republican-controlled Senate and a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.
During my military deployments, I have witnessed the devastating ripple effects that befall a culture that places no value on human life. Today, I have the privilege of being the only Iraq War veteran in the Michigan Senate, and I pledge, through this legislation, to protect and defend the vulnerable and voiceless here. with us.
By doing so, we can ensure that our laws respect the values of the people of this state and the conscience of our nation. I hope the rest of my colleagues will join me in supporting these bills.
If we cannot agree that all life is worth protecting, including that of the unborn child, then we can at least agree that there are limits to what we are willing to accept in a civilized society. .
Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, represents Michigan’s 24th district.