Latest Front in War on Women:

New Fascist Kansas Law Criminalizes Most Second Trimester Abortions

April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On April 7, the governor of Kansas signed into law a bill which criminalizes most abortions in the second trimester. The “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” uses deliberately false, unscientific, and inflammatory language to ban the safest and most medically accepted procedure for abortions in the second trimester. Doctors in Kansas who provide this procedure for their patients will now face misdemeanor or felony charges.

This new law, actively promoted by the National Right to Life Committee as part of their 2015 legislative agenda, represents a major new offensive in the unrelenting and systematic assault on a woman’s most fundamental right to control her own body and determine if and when to have a child. On April 8, a similar bill was passed by the Oklahoma legislature, and other similar bills are being pushed in Missouri, South Carolina, and South Dakota. All of these laws and bills must be actively protested and opposed.

Julie Burkhart of the Trust Women Foundation and the South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas, has called the Kansas law the “physician intimidation and criminalization act.” Kansas has long been a focal point for fascist attacks against women and the doctors who serve them. In 2009, Dr. George Tiller, one of few heroic providers of late-term abortions in the entire country, was shot down in cold blood in Wichita by an anti-abortion fascist. And Kansas is one of the states that already have some of the most draconian laws designed to create insurmountable hurdles to women seeking abortions—parental notification, 24-hour waiting period, and mandatory fetal ultra-sound.

The new Kansas law prohibits “dismemberment abortion,” which it defines as “causing the death of an unborn child, knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the 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 in order to cut or rip it off.”

This lurid and completely unscientific and non-medical description is deliberately designed to promote the damaging lie that abortion is murder and that fetuses are babies—all in an effort to further stigmatize a procedure which is absolutely essential for women’s ability to control their lives and their health. The truth of the matter is: A fetus is NOT a baby! And abortion is NOT murder!

Let’s dig into the science of this. A fetus is not an “unborn child”—it is living tissue, which is growing and developing, but is not yet a human being and has no life separate from the life of the woman in whose uterus it is. For more on the science of what an abortion is, read “What Is an Abortion and Why Women Must Have the Right to Choose; Life Cannot and Should Not Always Be Preserved.”

The procedure which is being prohibited—the use of forceps—is one essential part of the process of dilation and evacuation (D&E)—the abortion method which is used for pregnancies in the second trimester when a simple vacuum-aspiration is no longer possible. While abortion in the second trimester is still a very safe procedure, it is more complicated. The fetus, although still far from being able to survive separately from the woman (even at the end of the second trimester) is larger, and must be taken out of the woman’s uterus in pieces. This is done by a combination of forceps to remove larger pieces of tissue, curettage to gently scrape the uterine lining and remove tissue, and finally suction to make sure all the tissue is removed.

Banning the use of forceps is effectively banning the use of the D&E procedure and forces a woman into the only other alternative still available: having a medically induced abortion, using a combination of drugs that terminate the pregnancy and induce labor. This procedure involves two to three days of waiting, and in the second trimester often must be performed in a hospital due to the increased risk of complications. While both procedures are safe with proper medical care, there is significantly a higher risk of complications with the medically induced abortion in the second trimester.

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It is completely unacceptable for laws to be enacted that dictate to a physician which among the safe and established medical procedures he/she can or cannot provide for a patient. This rising tide of a new round of laws—being promoted and pushed through state legislatures by anti-abortion fascists like the National Right to Life Committee—is an ominous development, coming on top of decades of murder and terror directed against abortion providers and their patients.

It is the latest front in a whole war on women, a war which has forced the closing of dozens of clinics around the country, making abortion effectively unavailable to large swaths of the population, particularly in rural areas, leaving women with no choice but to take drastic and unsafe measures to try to end their pregnancies. Women’s lives are at stake. The anti-abortion movement has never been about babies, it has always been about reducing women to being incubators and foreclosing their ability to make decisions about their lives and to contribute to society in the fullest way.

Abortion on Demand and Without Apology! Women are NOT Incubators! Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement!

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