Illinois ‘Dismemberment Abortion’ Ban (HB 4717)
This law was last updated on Feb 13, 2019
HB 4717 would prohibit a person from performing, or attempting to perform, a “dismemberment abortion” on a fetus unless it is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person or if a continuation of the pregnancy would cause a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant person.
The bill defines dismemberment abortion to mean:
“[…]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 2 rigid levers, slice, crush, or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.”
The bill provides that no person upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed may be criminally or civilly liable.
Additionally, the bill provides that 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 may be criminally or civilly liable for performing or attempting to perform a “dismemberment abortion.”
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.
Identical to HB 2891, which was introduced in 2017.
- National Right to Life Committee — Drafted Model Law