Fetal Pain Informed Consent Bill Goes Forward in US

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2004 ( - Following the success of the unborn victims of violence act, pro-life legislators are putting another bill forward that will require doctors to inform a woman seeking abortions that her child will experience pain while being killed. Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas (Rep.) said of the proposed legislation that, “Unborn children can and do feel pain. Women should not be kept in the dark.” The bill would give a woman seeking an abortion the option of providing anesthesia to her unborn child. Non-compliant abortionists would be fined and could lose their medical licenses for repeated violations.

The issue of pain in abortion is a politically volatile one since most women, even those seeking abortion, have at least some feelings towards their child. For obvious reasons, abortion advocates have worked hard to either discredit the idea of fetal perception of pain at early stages or to simply throw a cloak of silence over it. Abortion promoters routinely oppose proposed laws that would require that women be given any information at all regarding their child.

The proposed law would only affect those women twenty weeks or more pregnant. Dr. Paul Ranalli, a neurologist at the University of Toronto, testified to the House Judiciary Committee of the State of Ohio that the “spino-thalamic” system is fully developed at about 12 to 14 weeks of gestation. This is the system that conveys pain signals from pain receptors throughout the body to the thalamus. Other scientists have estimated as early as 7-8 weeks of gestation the child in the womb is capable of feeling pain. Children react very violently to abortion procedures even at very early stages in development. Doctors testifying recently on partial birth abortion have graphically described fighting a child in the womb who is being killed with forceps.

Rep. Christopher H. Smith is supporting the bill in the House of Representatives. He says that he has asked for hearings and hopes for a floor vote within the year. “The recent partial-birth-abortion ban trials have cut through the denial and drawn attention to the pain that unborn children feel during an abortion,” Mr. Smith said.

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