It’s amazing to me that there is that much debate on whether or not babies feel pain when they’re being killed. I can remember a few months ago when the baby in my wife’s uterus was just getting big enough to be felt on the outside and my wife would tell me about movements, but when I put my hand on her belly the movements would stop. She felt my hand (the temperature, the pressure, something!) and reacted to it.
I have a hard time believing that anyone who has been a dad or a mom could believe that babies somehow could not feel the saline that burns them alive, or the vacuum that tears limb by limb from their body. They may want to believe it is true, but they must know it is not.
As a “parting shot” in the last few days of the Republican Congress, the Republicans are looking to schedule debate on a bill that would address fetal pain:
The bill, by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., defines a 20-week-old fetus as a “pain-capable unborn child” — a highly controversial threshold among scientists. It also directs the Health and Human Service Department to develop a brochure stating “that there is substantial evidence that the process of being killed in an abortion will cause the unborn child pain.”
Abortion providers would be required to inform the mothers that evidence exists that the procedure would cause pain to the child and offer the mothers anesthesia for the baby. The mothers would accept or reject the anesthesia by signing a form. The bill allows for an exception for certified medical emergencies.
When fetuses can feel pain — versus a reflexive drawing back from stimuli — has been the subject of heated debate. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco last year reviewed dozens of studies and medical reports and said that fetuses likely are incapable of feeling pain until around the seventh month of pregnancy, when they are about 28 weeks old.
Again, they can say it’s just a reflex from stimuli– but I believe that this is one of those cases where parents know better than scientists.