The bill includes an exemption for situations in which the procedure is necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the mother.
HB 1032 does not use the medical term for the procedure, instead calling it by the non-medical term “dismemberment abortion.”
The bill defines “dismemberment abortion” as a procedure that “purposely dismembers the living unborn child and extracts 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 body of the unborn child to cut or tear off a portion of the body of the unborn child.”
The measure defines “unborn child” as “an individual organism of the species Homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth.”
Under the bill, performing such a procedure when it is not necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the mother would be a Class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A person who performs such a procedure also would be liable for civil damages.
Mayberry sponsored the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protect Act of 2013, which became law after the Republican-controlled Legislature overrode a veto by then Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat. The law bans most abortions at 20 weeks or later into a pregnancy.
Also Monday, Mayberry filed HB 1033, which would use money from the state’s 1999 settlement with tobacco companies to reduce the waiting list for home- and community-based services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Sen. Jim Hendren, R-Sulphur Springs, filed Senate Bill 20, which would make it a Class Y felony to commit aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer or an employee of a correctional facility. A Class Y felony is punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison.