North Carolina ‘Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act’ (SB 425)
This law was last updated on Feb 13, 2019
SB 425 would prohibit a physician from knowingly performing a “dismemberment abortion” and thereby killing an “unborn child,” or attempting to perform such an abortion unless it is necessary to prevent serious health risk to the life of the pregnant patient.
The bill defines “dismemberment abortion” to mean:
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. The term does not include an abortion that uses suction to dismember the body of the unborn child by sucking fetal parts into a collection container, but it does include an abortion in which a dismemberment abortion is used to cause the death of an unborn child but suction is subsequently used to extract fetal parts after the death of the unborn child.
The bill includes a rape and incest exception clause, however, it would not apply to this method of abortion.
Any person who violates this provision would be guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.
The pregnant patient and anyone acting under the direction of a physician would not be held liable.
A claim for injunctive relief against any person who has violated this law may be sought by:
- the individual upon whom a dismemberment abortion was performed; or
- a parent of the individual, if such patient was a minor at the time.
Any person who violates the terms of an injunction would be subject to contempt and fined $10,000 for the first violation, $50,000 for the second violation, and $100,000 for the third violation and each subsequent violation.
If passed, the law would take effect on December 1, 2017.
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.)
This law is based on model legislation designed by the National Right to Life Committee.
- National Right to Life Committee — Drafted Model Law