Anglican Samizdat

April 14, 2010

Skull crushing

Filed under: Abortion — David Jenkins @ 2:58 pm
Tags: ,

Every so often one comes across a headline that induces stomach heaving revulsion. What sort of civilisation that deserves the epithet would even need such a thing to be banned:

ND measure would ban ‘skull crushing’ in abortions

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A proposed ballot measure supporters say is intended to restrict abortions in North Dakota would make it a felony to decapitate or crush the skull of a fetus.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger said the proposed initiative petition was turned in to his office late Tuesday. He has until April 22 to review the measure and approve it for circulation.

North Dakota’s constitution gives residents the right to put state laws directly to a vote if they can muster enough petition signatures. Backers of the measure will need signatures from at least 12,844 voters to put the proposal on the ballot.

The proposal seeks to ban the use of “any instrument or procedure to grasp the skull or neck” of a fetus in order to decapitate it or crush its skull. Any doctor who did so could be prosecuted for a felony that carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

In the same vein, Nebraska is to limit abortions that cause foetal pain:

Nebraska to limit abortions because of fetal pain

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska lawmakers on Tuesday passed a groundbreaking bill banning abortions at 20 weeks based on assertions that fetuses feel pain then. Gov. Dave Heineman planned to sign it into law in the afternoon.

If upheld by the courts, the bill could change the foundation of abortion laws nationwide. Current restrictions in Nebraska and elsewhere are based on a fetus’s ability to survive outside the womb, or viability.

Viability is determined on a case-by-case basis but is generally considered to occur at 22 to 24 weeks.

The Nebraska bill was partially meant to shut down one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country, Dr. LeRoy Carhart. He attracted attention after his friend and fellow late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot to death by an abortion foe in Kansas last year.


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