Can unborn babies feel the pain of their dismemberment in the womb?
A Journal of the American Medical Association article, published in 2005, suggested the earliest an unborn baby can feel pain is 28 weeks. But National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch disagreed.
“By 20 weeks after fertilization, unborn children have pain receptors throughout their body, and nerves link these to the brain,” she said. “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.”
Can these babies feel pain before 20 weeks? The fact that we’re not sure should concern even the most ardent abortion advocate.
The Republican sweep of Congress means that it’s time to push through legislation designed to give unborn babies more protection. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the new Senate Majority leader, intends to do just that with an abortion ban after 20 weeks. Some states already ban such abortions, and the House passed a similar bill last year.
From Life News:
McConnell, hailing from Kentucky, has promised the Senate will vote on a House-passed bill that bans abortions after 5 months because scientific research shows unborn children can feel pain at that point in pregnancy.
“We are encouraged with the new pro-life Senate and look forward to a vote on our top legislative priority, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This compassionate, popular legislation will protect the lives of more than 18,000 unborn children per year,” SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “Leader McConnell has a 100 percent pro-life voting record and has pledged to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the floor for a vote.”
The court in Roe v. Wade (1973) ruled that women could kill their unborn babies before those babies are capable of living outside the womb. Babies have survived as early as 21 weeks, but with advancing technology, that number might dip even lower one day.
Photo credit: dalurton1 (Flickr Commons)