A few days ago, before our August 4 primary election, Planned Parenthood and its supporters celebrated the end of the Michigan Values Life petition to ban dismemberment abortions. On the other side, the nearly 400,000 Michiganders who signed the petition and prolife individuals around the nation are mourning the continued practice of ripping apart children in the womb.

It would be easy to poke holes in the narrative that the third most accurate petition drive in Michigan’s recent history—a higher signature accuracy rate than some that became state laws—contained a “surprising number of errors,” but today, that would be a futile exercise. Instead, let us look at the tactics employed to keep millions of people in the dark about the nature of dismemberment abortions: deception & evasion.

These are the tactics Planned Parenthood has always relied on and will continue to use to try to stop our future efforts to ban dismemberment abortion and eventually protect the right to life of every unborn child.


The dismemberment abortion procedure—more commonly referred to as dilation & evacuation within the abortion industry—usually takes place in the second trimester between 13 and 24 weeks gestation. Even the name of the procedure is deceptive. During a “dilation & evacuation” procedure, a baby will be grasped by a sopher clamp and dismembered limb by limb until all of her body parts have been removed from the womb. Planned Parenthood would have the world believe a “fetus” at this stage is, “just a clump of cells,” or that it, “can’t feel pain,” and it is only a “potential baby.”

At 12 weeks of gestation, a baby has all of her major body parts and organs; her bones are beginning to harden, and research has shown that she has the capacity to feel pain. Furthermore, a 2019 study by the University of Iowa found that with proper care 65% of babies born at 22 weeks survive. To convince the world that dismemberment abortions are ethical, the abortion industry has willfully deceived the public about the true nature of unborn children and the practices used to end their lives.


In addition to willful deception about the dismemberment of almost fully-formed babies, the Abortion Industry also employs the tactic of evasion to get around accountability. Currently only 28 states require reporting of abortion complications, 19 of which have unspecified penalties for failure to report; Michigan is one of these states.

In May, two Maryland women almost died during dismemberment abortions when the abortionist ripped holes in their uterine walls, allowing pieces of their partially dismembered babies to lodge inside their abdominal cavities. This is only known because both required immediate hospitalization and people on the sidewalk reported seeing ambulances.

Former abortion workers have testified that women are specifically instructed not to go to the hospital if they experience any complications from their procedures, but to call the abortionist first. By evading any accountability for injuring patients and publishing every study detailing abortion complications, the Abortion Industry can claim that their procedures are safe—even safer than childbirth.

Planned Parenthood can celebrate all it wants that its bottom line will be protected a little while longer, but one day the deception and evasion will catch up to them and it will be illegal to rip babies apart, one limb at a time.

The Next Step

Some are wondering if Right to Life of Michigan will be leading another petition drive to ban dismemberment abortions, given this attempt came up only a few thousand signatures short in very unfavorable circumstances. Before we even consider that, President Trump must win the 2020 general election. A successful dismemberment ban relies on the U.S. Supreme Court to extend its precedent in Gonzales v. Carhart to allow a dismemberment ban, just as they allow bans on the similarly barbaric partial-birth abortion procedure. Currently, it is questionable if Chief Justice John Roberts will have the courage to do the right thing.

It is not just the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Kentucky’s dismemberment ban a few months ago. Though Michigan’s ban is worded differently, it would certainly be helpful if the 6th Circuit had fewer abortion advocates on the bench. A President Joe Biden will not be appointing fair judges to important judicial positions. He will demand they support abortion no matter what.

The next step in banning dismemberment abortion starts today: turning out the prolife vote for November. How can we do that? How can we fight Planned Parenthood’s deception and evasion? Make it your mission to speak boldly about the value of all human life at every opportunity.