Latest strategy to stop women from getting safe abortions
Efforts by Republicans to limit clinic access are only hurting women, and now they have a new tactic.
Called Dilation and Evacuation (D&E), this type of surgical abortion has become the only legal option left for abortions that take place after 14 weeks that doctors consider safe. But, using inflammatory language describing the D&E procedure as “dismemberment” abortion, state lawmakers are moving to block doctors from using it.
If we have an anti-choice president and Supreme Court, it could easily push us back to a pre-Roe era.
In the words of Mary Spaulding Balch of the National Right to Life Committee — the anti-abortion group behind draft legislation for D&E bills: “Dismemberment abortion kills a baby by tearing her apart limb from limb.”
The flurry of state-level activity over D&E has intensified since this legislation was first introduced in 2014. Just last week, Alabama passed a D&E bill — paired with legislation that would essentially treat abortion clinics like sex offenders. In March, West Virginia lawmakers overrode their governor’s veto on a D&E bill that’s now slated to go into effect at the end of May.
All told, at least 15 states have proposed new D&E bans this session. If these bills become law, and follow the path of previous abortion restrictions that eventually became federal law, women may no longer be able to obtain a legal abortion when they’re in most need.
And according to some legal experts, this emerging trend could ignite a real fight to revoke a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion — especially with the threat of a Republican-led country on the horizon.