Lawmakers in West Virginia pass bill banning dismemberment abortions to protect unborn child

Illustration shows how dilation and evacuation abortion is performed.(YouTube/Live Action)

Legislators in West Virginia passed a bill that bans dismemberment abortions to protect the unborn child in the state.

The House of Delegates voted 86-13 to pass SB 10 or the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act on Feb. 29.

Dismemberment abortion, according to the bill, "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 or grasp a portion of the unborn child's body to cut or rip it off."

It bans dilation and evacuation where a baby is removed from the womb one limb at a time, LifeSite News reported. The procedure accounts for about 95 percent of all abortions performed in the second trimester.

The West Virginia Senate passed the bill on Feb. 17 with a vote of 24-9.

The bill will be sent to Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin who has not publicly announced his position on the bill and will most likely veto the measure.

If it becomes law, the measure will ban any person from performing the procedure "unless in reasonable medical judgment the woman has a condition that, on the basis of reasonable medical judgment, so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions."

It mandates that any physician or other licensed medical practitioner who violates the law will be subjected "to discipline from the applicable licensure board for that conduct, including, but not limited to, loss of professional license to practice."

State lawmakers passed last March the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that restricts abortion to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy by overriding Tomblin's veto.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in a 2007 ruling that "No one would dispute that, for many, D&E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life."