Friday, April 16, 2010

The problem of (fetal) pain

This week Nebraska passed landmark legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks on the grounds that the unborn child can feel pain.

"By 20 weeks after fertilization, unborn children have pain receptors throughout their body, and nerves link these to the brain," says National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. "These unborn children recoil from painful stimulation, which also dramatically increases their release of stress hormones. Doctors performing fetal surgery at and after 20 weeks now routinely use fetal anesthesia."

Because an unborn child at 20 weeks "is fully capable of experiencing pain," notes Dr. Robert J. White, a professor of neurosurgery at Case Western University, "[w]ithout question, [abortion] is a dreadfully painful experience for any infant subjected to such a surgical procedure."

Learn more here, and read scientific testimony about fetal pain here.