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The fetal pain question has always seemed outrageous and irrelevant to me.  Debating at what point an unborn baby feels pain so that an abortion can be performed “painlessly” is horrific, dehumanizing and oh so cavalier.  It’s the equivalent of saying:  “No worries…I’m going to kill you and then dismember you, but I’ll give you some pain killer before I do it.”  Even some outspoken abortion supporters acknowledge that  whether or not a fetus feels pain  “makes little difference to the central arguments on either side. Either a foetus is a life from conception, or it is not — ability to feel pain is not, in itself, a defining factor.”

The fetal pain question moved into the media spotlight recently because Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ (RCOG) claim to have determined that a fetus is not able to feel pain before 24 weeks of development. RCOG’s study is being used to uphold Britain’s current legalization of abortions up to 24 weeks.   Pro-life experts are pointing to this study as being politically timed and politically motivated as pro-life momentum in Britain is growing with more and more efforts to lower the time limit for legal abortion.

Jeanne Monahan, Family Research Council, explains how this new report misrepresents the facts:

“RCOG is using a faulty definition of pain in this study. A number of experts in the field of fetal development, who were not consulted for this report, previously have refuted the idea that the cortex needs to be fully developed for an unborn baby to feel pain. On the contrary, it is possible that unborn babies between 20-30 weeks of development can experience greater pain than a full-term newborn or older child. At 20-30 weeks, an unborn child possesses the highest number of pain receptors per square inch he or she will ever possess, and the baby’s nerve fibers are located closest to the surface of the skin.

Below is a video clip from the documentary “The Silent Scream.”  It is disturbing to watch, but hopefully it will inspire you to get more involved in working to provide women with real options and end abortion.


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