On Monday, Arkansas House lawmakers passed with an overwhelming majority a bill to ban dismemberment, or dilation and evaluation (D&E), abortions, a common second-trimester abortion procedure, the Associated Press reports.
Arkansas House Bill 1032, or the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act, passed in a 78-10 vote; now, it heads to the Republican-controlled state Senate, which seems likely to pass it, according to the report. Gov. Asa Hutchinson previously said he supports the bill.
“I have read the bill and it provides safeguards that are important, including an exception for circumstances that put the health of the mother in serious risk, and it assures that there is no penalty on the mother,” Hutchinson said in a statement Monday.
A dismemberment abortion typically is performed on a nearly fully-formed, living unborn baby in the second trimester. It is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn child is ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 683 of the 3,771 abortions performed in 2015 were D&E, or dismemberment abortions.
State Rep. Andy Mayberry, R-Hensley, is the sponsor of the bill. He also is the president of Arkansas Right to Life.