By Terry Vanderheyden

WASHINGTON, February 9, 2006 ( – A total of 23 US states have introduced fetal pain legislation – 19 in 2005, and four this year, which would require that abortionists disclose to women the reality that killing an unborn baby by abortion causes pain to the child.

So far Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota and Wisconsin have all passed the bills, although Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed the legislation last month. Doyle claimed that, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the bill failed “to reflect a consensus of medical opinion,” and “intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship in a heavy-handed manner.”

The Governor relied on a Journal of the American Medical Association so-called study that concluded that the unborn do not experience pain. As reported by,, the editor of the JAMA told Knight Ridder news she was unaware of bias by the study’s authors. As pointed out by the US National Right to Life Committee, “The lead author, Susan J. Lee, is a medical student and former NARAL employee.”

The connection to pro-abortion activism doesn’t end there. Co-author Eleanor Drey is the director of an abortion clinic in San Francisco. Dr. Drey is also on the staff of the Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy, a pro-abortion advocacy center at the University of California-San Francisco.Â

JAMA editor-in-chief Catherine D. DeAngelis told Knight Ridder she was unaware of the authors’ connections, and acknowledged it might create an appearance of bias that could hurt the journal’s credibility. “This is the first I’ve heard about it,” she said. “We ask them to reveal any conflict of interest. I would have published” the disclosure if it had been made.

In Utah and Indiana, fetal pain laws have passed through the House and are en route to their Senates. This year, Arizona, Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma all introduced similar legislation.

The federal counterpart, The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, was introduced concurrently in the House by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-New Jersey) and in the Senate by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) last fall. The motions have yet to be acted on in either the House or Senate.

See related coverage:
  Canadian physician says JAMA fetal pain study seriously flawed
  US Congressional Committee Examines Fetal Pain Legislation
  Fetal Pain Informed Consent Bill Goes Forward in US


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