By 20 weeks, unborn babies might be capable of feeling the pain of their abortion deaths.
That’s the idea behind the pro-life movement’s push to ban abortions at this stage of pregnancy.
Second trimester abortions are regulated, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, only in the interests of the mother’s health. The government regulates third trimester abortions, because preserving the life of a viable baby is in the state’s interest.
But the baby might have the capacity to feel pain during the second trimester, at which point the government should have an interest in preventing that pain.
— Susan B Anthony List (@SBAList) October 2, 2017
Lawmakers want to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which the Trump administration supports. If passed, it would be a crime to kill babies or attempt to kill babies at 20 weeks gestation, with the usual exceptions for danger to the mother’s life, rape, or incest.
From the Daily Signal:
Embryological studies show that at 20 weeks, babies have developed pain mechanisms: The nervous system develops as early as six weeks; the first sensory receptors for pain by seven weeks; and nerve synapses by eight weeks. Connections between the spinal cord and the thalamus—which function for pain perception—are almost complete at 20 weeks. Brain scans also indicate fetal response to pain.
In fact, studies suggest that the younger the infant, the more intensely they can feel pain.
Scientists have noted that the earlier a premature infant is born, the more pain-sensitive they are, since they have yet to develop pain inhibitors, which occurs at 34 to 36 weeks of gestation. This makes unborn, preterm, and premature babies like Micah hypersensitive to pain.
The Daily Signal reported on a child who was born at 20 weeks and survived. The doctor delivered him, and he received intensive care, including medication for pain. If babies can survive at 20 weeks now, thanks to improving technology, doesn’t it follow that they can feel pain at this stage?