Published: September 14, 2005
A new report conducted by obstetric anesthesiologist Mark Rosen of the University of California, San Francisco suggests that fetuses probably do not feel pain until the seventh month of pregnancy, sparking an encore of the all-to-familiar abortion debate.
The study comes as Congress is reviewing fetal-pain laws meant to curb abortion. The law would require doctors to provide information on the pain a fetus can feel when an abortion is administered at least 20 weeks along, and to offer women fetal anesthesia at that stage of pregnancy.
The article is intended to convey that administrating fetal-pain relief during abortions in the fifth or sixth months of pregnancy is unnecessary and could pose health threats to women; however, pro-choicers have seized the publication of this article to parade the as-of-yet unproven possibility that a child does not feel pain during the abortion procedure.
Nancy Chescheir, board director of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, says the article will “help to develop some consensus” on when fetuses feel pain but admits that as of now, there isn’t any.
So since there has been no other study like this we are supposed to accept this finding as concrete evidence?
First of all, one study’s results do not translate into absolute fact. In the 1950’s, doctors told us that LSD was perfectly safe and even medically useful, but a few years later the medical community had it banned and warned us that it was incredibly damaging to the body. Scientific research is not always correct- therefore this study should not be taken as fact.
Second, and perhaps even more importantly, even if the study is correct, it does not change the validity of the argument that makes abortion so controversial: is it wrong to kill a baby- alive and able to hear, breathe and feel- inside of its mother’s womb?
Even though no study like this has been done before and there’s no way to prove that its findings are true, let’s assume that they are. Let’s assume that a baby does not feel pain until the at least after the twentieth week. Does this change the fact that the child is alive? Are we to assume that it’s okay to kill as long as there’s no pain?
In today’s world, the same action on another human would be considered disgusting and highly criminal. Would society even think about killing a paralyzed person and not feel remorse because that person does not feel pain? A ridiculous amount of controversy was brought on by the case of Terry Schiavo and the fight to keep her alive- it’s inexcusable that an innocent child’s right to live isn’t as important.
Neither this, nor any other study, can make casual murder of children acceptable.