ROME, May 17, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Zenit news reported Friday an interview with Italian neonatal specialist Dr. Carlo Bellieni, who wrote the book Dawn of the I: Pain, Memory, Desire, Dream of the Fetus. The partial-birth abortion ban trials have brought to fore the question of the humanity of the unborn, specifically their ability to feel pain. Bellieni has worked for years in the Department of Neonatal Intensive Therapy of the Le Scotte University Polyclinic of Siena, where he has studied the issue of fetal suffering.  When asked by Zenit, “Does the fetus feel pain?” Bellieni replies: “Indeed.”

He also describes the advanced development of a baby at an age legal to be killed by abortionists, “Today, we know that the fetus inside the maternal womb perceives scents and tastes, hears sounds, and remembers them after birth.”  Bellieni illustrates that a “fetus, at 30 weeks of gestation, is able to dream. All these characteristics allow us to appreciate the human dimensions.”  The neonatal specialist emphasizes that the scientific evidence for the humanity of the unborn is “immense. We cannot understand how it can be thought that it becomes a person at a certain point, perhaps when coming out of the uterus. From the physical point of view, at the birth very little really changes: Air enters the lungs, the arrival of blood from the placenta is interrupted, the type of circulation of blood in the heart changes, and not much more,” he explains. “As I often say, only blind faith in magic arts or some strange divinity can lead one to think that there is a ‘human’ quality leap at a given moment—certainly not science.”  He concludes, “. . .I think one should say ‘enough’ to that anti-scientific attitude that regards prenatal life as a second-class life. And the paradox is that instead the Church is accused of retarding progress. In reality, the Church has an attitude of protection of health.”  Read the full interview at: Zenit.org   Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage: “UK Research Shows Conclusively That Fetuses Feel Pain,” at: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/1998/aug/98081102.html