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North Carolina ‘Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion’ Act (SB 51)

This law was last updated on May 3, 2019

This law is Anti–Choice Model Bill


North Carolina


SB 51




Feb 12, 2019


Co-sponsors: 11
Primary Sponsors: 3
Total Sponsors: 14


Dilation and Evacuation Bans

Full Bill Text

SB 51 would prohibit a physician from performing a “dismemberment abortion,” or attempting to perform such an abortion unless it’s necessary to prevent serious health risk to the life of the pregnant patient.

The bill defines “dismemberment abortion” to mean:

With the intent to cause the death of an unborn child, to dismember a living unborn child and extract that child in pieces 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, or a combination of these, 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. The term includes 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 pregnant patient and anyone acting under the direction of a physician would not be held liable.

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.)

Related Legislation

Based on model legislation designed by the National Right to Life Committee.

Companion bill to HB 54.

Similar to SB 425, which failed to pass in 2017.

Latest Action

2/12/19 – Introduced.