Colorado ‘Dismemberment Abortion’ Ban (HB 1120)
This law was last updated on Dec 6, 2018
HB 1120 would prohibit a person from intentionally performing a “dismemberment abortion,” unless such an abortion was necessary in a medical emergency.
The bill defines “dismemberment abortion” to mean:
“A dilation and evacuation procedure used to dismember the baby, limb by limb; crush the skull; and remove all pieces of the aborted baby from the womb. Whereby, a thirteen-inch tool with sharp teeth called a ‘sopher clamp’ is used to:
- Sever and remove the arms and legs, limb by limb, from the baby’s body;
- Pull the severed limbs from the womb;
- Individually sever the intestines, spine, heart, lungs, and other internal organs and remove them from the womb;
- Crush the skull. Due to the size of the skull it cannot be removed intact to it must first be crushed into pieces. The abortionist knows when the skull has been crushed into piseces when the gray matter from the brain is observed;
- Remove the individual pieces of the skull from the mother’s womb; and
- After all of the baby’s limbs, organs, and skull have been removed from the mother’s womb, reassemble the baby to ensure that all pieces have been removed from the mother’s womb.”
The bill specifies that a pregnant person on whom such an abortion is performed, or a person who fills a prescription or provides equipment used in a “dismemberment abortion,” would not be violating this provision.
Any violation of this provision would be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine from $50 to $500.
This law targets a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), which is frequently used during second-trimester abortions. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an abortion using suction aspiration can be performed up to 14 weeks’ gestation, but after 14 weeks the D and E procedure must be used to perform an abortion. As such, dilation and evacuation bans, depending upon their language, may ban all surgical abortion past 14 weeks’ gestation. (Source.)
Based on model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee.
- National Right to Life Committee — Drafted Model Law