Supreme Court to hear dismemberment abortion case

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case that would curtail a critical safeguard designed to protect women with long-term threats to their health from so-called “dismemberment abortion” procedures.

This procedure, which isn’t banned in the United States, can result in the very painful deaths of women in some cases.

“It’s both really on point and very poignant,” U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco told CNN’S Emily Harris following the oral arguments Wednesday. “What concerns the court is that there are women who in fact have been treated with dismemberment abortion that were disposed of in one of those parts that take decades to recover from.”

As Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer put it to Francisco, “Of all the (state-imposed) regulation of abortion — and there is a lot of regulation of abortion — this is the most gruesome. I know it may seem that it is very common in Texas and it may be because of the (current) restrictions. But that’s not what we say about this. We say it is what state has imposed upon a woman in her pregnancy that is the most gruesome.”

For pro-life groups, the case calls into question why an abortion procedure that kills a fetus can be made so dangerous and difficult for a woman to get and, at the same time, one that ends an infant’s life can be allowed.

“We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will uphold this common-sense regulation of abortion providers that ensures that women get safe and legal care at these abortion clinics and will not destroy another innocent life that was not involved in the first place,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.

Defenders of Roe v. Wade say this is just another court fight that will continue its pro-choice message.

“On Friday the Supreme Court will again reaffirm Roe v. Wade and allow women to continue getting safe abortions across the country,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Pro-choicers should not take it for granted that the court will rule that dangerous late-term abortions still take place.”

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