Rhode Island ‘Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion’ (H 5100)
This law was last updated on May 11, 2017
H 5100 would prohibit a person from performing, or attempting to perform a “dismemberment abortion” on a “living unborn child” unless it is necessary to save the life of the pregnant patient or if the continued pregnancy would cause substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant patient.
The bill defines “dismemberment abortion” as
[…]the purpose of 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.
A person who violates this provision would be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first conviction, and guilty of a felony for any subsequent conviction.
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.)
Based on model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee.