"All that you would that men do unto you, do you also to them." (Mt.7,12)
"In what measure you shall mete, it shall be measured unto you again" (Mk.4,24)
The MOTHER of ALL CHILDREN The Souls of Aborted Babies Truce of God*
Louisiana Abortion Law on Ultrasounds and Baby's Pain Goes Into Effect
IF YOU'RE NOT SURE THAT THERE IS PAIN:
DON'T GIVE ANESTHESIA
Rep. Debra Brimhall authors "Fetal Pain Bill".
Australian Health and Medical Research Council requires painkillers to be used on the fetuses of animals
The cry of tiny babies, without anesthesia,
being torn apart or burnt alive
is a heartless, pitiless cruelty, repeated thousands of times a day -
a merciless horror
that goes on and on and on, with seemingly no relief in sight.
* * * * *
Accords and Declarations
absolutely prohibit torture.
* * * * *
When can a fetus feel pain?
Does a Fetus Feel Pain?
Fetal Pain: An Agonizing reality
Viability, Fetal Pain, In Utero Surgery, and Roe v. Wade
* * * * *
When can a fetus feel pain?
(by Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke)
| By this age the neuro-anatomic structures are present. What is needed is (1)
| a sensory nerve to feel the pain and send a message to (2) the thalamus, a
| part of the base of the brain, and (3) motor nerves that send a message to
| that area. These are present at 8 weeks. The pain impulse goes to the
| thalamus. It sends a signal down the motor nerves to pull away from the hurt.
|At 7 weeks (Photo: Lennart Nilsson)
| Try sticking an infant with a pin and you know what happens. She opens her
| mouth to cry and also pulls away.
| Try sticking an 8 week old human fetus in the palm of his hand. He opens his
| mouth and pulls his hand away.
| A more technical description would add that changes in heart rate and fetal
| movement also suggest that intrauterine manipulations are painful to the
| fetus. Volman & Pearson, "What the Fetus Feels,"
|British Med. Journal, Jan. 26, 1980, pp. 233-234.
| O.K., that is activity that can be observed, but is there other evidence
| of pain? After all, the fetal baby cant tell us he hurts.
| Pain can be detected when nociceptors (pain receptors) discharge electrical
| impulses to the spinal cord and brain. These fire impulses outward, telling the
| muscles and body to react. These can be measured.
|Mountcastle, Medical Physiology, St. Louis: C.V. Mosby, pp. 391-427
| "Lip tactile response may be evoked by the end of the 7th week. At 11 weeks, the face and all parts of the upper and lower extremities are sensitive to touch. By 13 1/2 to 14 weeks, the entire body surface, except for the back and the top of the head, are sensitive to pain."
|S. Reinis & J. Goldman, The Development of the Brain C. Thomas Pub., 1980
| In 1964 President Reagan said: "When the lives of the unborn are snuffed
| out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing." President Ronald
| Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters, New York Times, Jan. 31, 1984
| This provoked a public reaction from pro-abortion circles and a response from
| an auspicious group of professors, including pain specialists and two past
| presidents of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
| They strongly backed Mr. Reagan and produced substantial documentation.
| Excerpts of their letter (2/13/84) to him included:
| "Real time ultrasonography, fetoscopy, study of the fetal EKG
| (electrocardiogram) and fetal EEG (electroencephalogram) have demonstrated
| the remarkable responsiveness of the human fetus to pain, touch, and sound.
| That the fetus responds to changes in light intensity within the womb, to heat,
| to cold, and to taste (by altering the chemical nature of the fluid swallowed by
| the fetus) has been exquisitely documented in the pioneering work of the late
| Sir William Lily the father of fetology."
| We state categorically that no finding of modern fetology invalidates the
| remarkable conclusion drawn after a lifetime of research by the late Professor
| Arnold Gesell of Yale University. In The Embryology of Behavior: The
| Beginnings of the Human Mind (1945, Harper Bros.), Dr. Gesell wrote, "and
| so by the close of the first trimester the fetus is a sentient, moving being. We
| need not speculate as to the nature of his psychic attributes, but we may
| assert that the organization of his psychosomatic self is well under way."
| Mr. President, in drawing attention to the capability of the human fetus to feel
| pain, you stand on firmly established ground. Willke, J & B, Abortion:
| Questions & Answers, Hayes, 1991, Chpt. 10
| What of The Silent Scream?
| A Realtime ultrasound video tape and movie of a 12- week suction abortion is
| commercially available as, The Silent Scream, narrated by Dr. B. Nathanson,
| a former abortionist. It dramatically, but factually, shows the pre-born baby
| dodging the suction instrument time after time, while its heartbeat doubles in
| rate. When finally caught, its body being dismembered, the babys mouth
| clearly opens wide hence, the title (available from Heritage House '76 at
| http:www.heritagehouse76.com). Proabortionists have attempted to discredit
| this film. A well documented paper refuting their charges is available from
| National Right to Life, 419 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20004, $2.00 p.p. A
| short, 10-minute video showing the testimony of the doctor who did the
| abortion in Silent Scream definitely debunks any criticism of Silent Screams
| accuracy. The Answer, Bernadel, Inc., P.O. Box 1897, Old Chelsea Station,
| Pain? What of just comfort?
| "One of the most uncomfortable ledges that the unborn can encounter is his
| mothers backbone. If he happens to be lying so that his own backbone is
| across hers [when the mother lies on her back], the unborn will wiggle around
| until he can get away from this highly disagreeable position."
|M. Liley & B. Day, Modern Motherhood, Random House, 1969, p. 42
| But isnt pain mostly psychological?
| There is also organic, or physiological pain which elicits a neurological
|P. Lubeskind, "Psychology & Physiology of Pain," Amer. Review Psychology, vol. 28, 1977, p. 42
| But early on there is no cerebral cortex for thinking, therefore no
| The cortex isnt needed to feel pain. The thalamus is needed and (see above)
| is functioning at 8 weeks. Even complete removal of the cortex does not
| eliminate the sensation of pain. "Indeed there seems to be little evidence that
| pain information reaches the sensory cortex."
|Patton et al., Intro. to Basic Neurology, W. B. Saunders Co. 1976, p. 178
| How about during an abortion?
| This really hit the fan during the 1996 debate in the U.S. Congress over a law
| to ban partial birth abortions. Pro-abortionists had claimed that the
| anaesthetic had already killed the fetal baby. Top officials of the U.S.
| Society for Obstetric Anaesthesia & Perinatology vigorously denied this
| explaining that usual anaesthesia did not harm the baby.
|D. Gianelli Anaesthesiologists Question Claims in Abortion Debate, Am. Med. News, Jan. 1, 96
| This brought the issue of fetal pain into the news, and testimony was given to
| the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the U.S. House of Representatives.
| "The fetus within this time frame of gestation, 20 weeks and beyond, is fully
| capable of experiencing pain. Without doubt a partial birth abortion is a
| dreadfully painful experience for any infant.
|R. White, Dir. Neurosurgery & Brain Research, Case Western Univ.
| Also, "Far from being less able to feel pain, such premature newborns may be
| more sensitive to pain"...that babies under 30 weeks have a "newly
| established pain system that is raw and unmodified at this tender age."
|P. Ranalli, Neuro. Dept., Univ. of Toronto
| Give me more research data.
| Data in the British Medical Journal, Lancet, gave solid confirmation of such
| pain. It is known that the fetal umbilical cord has no pain receptors such as
| the rest of the fetal body. Accordingly, they tested fetal hormone stress
| response comparing puncturing of the abdomen and of the cord.
| They observed "the fetus reacts to intrahepatic (liver) needling with vigorous
| body and breathing movements, but not to cord needling. The levels of these
| hormones did not vary with fetal age."
| M. Fisk, et al., Fetal Plasma Cortisol and B-endorphin Response to Intrauterine Needling,
|Lancet, Vol. 344, July 9, 1994, Pg. 77
| Another excellent British study commented on this:
| "It cannot be comfortable for the fetus to have a scalp electrode implanted on
| his skin, to have blood taken from the scalp or to suffer the skull compression
| that may occur even with spontaneous delivery. It is hardly surprising that
headache." Valman & Pearson, "What the Fetus Feels,"
| infants delivered by difficult forceps extraction act as if they have a severe
British Med. Jour., Jan. 26, 1980
(From: WHY CAN'T WE LOVE THEM BOTH - CHAPTER 14)
9 weeks (Photo: Landrum Shettles M.D.)
* * * * *
British Medical Experts say Unborn Children feel Pain During Abortion
London England -- Thousands of abortions may cause pain to the unborn
child, say doctors preparing to debate the contentious issue of "fetal
Professor Vivette Glover, of London, is calling for all abortions between
17 and 24 weeks to be performed under anaesthetic. Although 90 percent of
abortions in England take place before 13 weeks concern has resurfaced
about those carried out during the next 11 weeks. At present, some
abortions during the period of 13 to 24 weeks are carried out without
Prof Glover, of Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, who is to chair a
conference on the issue at the Royal Institution in November, said
yesterday that many questions remained about when the fetus became
sentient. She said: "Between 17 and 26 it is increasingly possible that it
starts to feel something and that abortions done in that period ought to
Other experts disagreed. One scientist in the United States told the
Pro-Life Infonet she knows of numerous medical and scientific experts in
the field from all over the world who believe that embroys (the embryonic
period is from fertilization to the end of the 8th week - beginning of the
9th week) can feel pain by at least the 8th week of pregnancy.
Kevin Male, spokesperson for the British pro-life organization Life, said,
"This is more evidence that human life exists from the moment of
conception. We have known it all along, and I suspect that everybody else
knows it subconsciously, but will not admit it."
Prof Glover acknowledged that by raising the matter she could be providing
fodder for pro-life advocates. She said: "I am pro-choice, but one should
not muddle the two. One should think about how one is doing [the abortion]
in the most pain-free way."
According to one study, aborted children have been heard to cry from 21
weeks and some doctors believe that distress can be felt as early as 13
A study by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that
it was not easy to define or evaluate fetal awareness, in particular
awareness of pain. It concluded that the unborn child was not "aware"
before 26 weeks.
Dr Gillian Penney, of the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and chairman of the
Royal College's induced abortion guideline group, said "The fetus would
not be capable of experiencing what we would perceive as pain." The
evidence that underpinned the Royal College's conclusion focused on nerve
connections between two crucial areas of the developing brain, the cortex
and the thalamus. Until they develop after 26 weeks, sensations of pain
cannot be experienced, Penney said.
Professor Peter Hepper, of the fetal behaviour research center at Queen's
University, Belfast, said there was not enough evidence to say that the
unborn child experienced pain before 26 weeks. But he believed it was
"better to be safe than sorry".
The Women and Children's Welfare Fund charity says that the unborn child
is less well protected from pain in Britain than animals. There was no
legislation to protect the unborn child, the group said.
Steven Ertelt / Sally Winn <email@example.com>
Subject: British Medial Experts Say Unborn Children Feel Pain During Abortion
Source: London Telegraph, British Broadcasting Corporation; August 28, 2000
* * * * * * *
British Study: Unborn Children Feel Pain Earlier
London, England -- A study released this week in the United Kingdom
suggests that an unborn child might feel pain as early as 20 weeks.
"This study underscores the gruesome nature of abortion," charges Kristi
Hamrick of The Center for Reclaiming America, which is joining with other
pro-life groups next week to launch a campaign to bring a ban on
partial-birth abortion back in front of Congress this session.
According to reports, the head the government-appointed Medical Research
Council at Edinburgh University in the United Kingdom said an unborn child
was absolutely aware of pain by 24 weeks and perhaps as early as 20 weeks
-- earlier than the previously accepted 26 weeks.
The Medical Research Council, chaired by Professor Eve Johnstone of
Edinburgh University, makes a strong case for additional research on ways
to prevent the unnecessary suffering of extremely premature children.
Prof Johnstone said these babies had to undergo painful procedures, such
as heel pricks, blood monitoring, injections and insertion of breathing
tubes. "We ought to study this carefully."
The findings indicate a need for more research on ways to treat neonatal
pre-term infants, who may experience pain from a number of medical
procedures that could affect them in long-term development. And the study
raises questions over whether and which pre-term babies ought to be given
anesthetics in the womb during birth.
But the study also provides new fuel for the debate over abortion, in
particular late-term abortions.
Hamrick says she believes life occurs at conception and must be protected
thereafter and says that the Edinburgh study can only help her cause.
"It does not change the fact that (anywhere) along the pendulum swing
(from conception to birth) this is still a human being," she said. "But
this information is helpful to bringing our country to a consensus on
where we should draw some lines."
Dr. Susan Dudley, deputy director of the National Abortion Federation, a
network of abortion businesses, said fetal pain is a complex issue that is
far from fully understood. Whether or not the unborn child can feel pain
-- at 26 weeks, 20 weeks or earlier -- the vast majority of abortions
today are conducted in the first trimester and groups like NAF will
continue to support abortion, she said.
"The obvious and most important thing to say is most abortions take place
before 20 weeks," Dudley said. Even if the Edinburgh study is accurate,
she said, "it would have very little impact on people who are
contemplating an abortion."
The new report by the MRC working group attacks the idea that pain
perception suddenly switches on in the foetus, or is due to activity in a
particular brain area. Pain perception requires interactions among highly
interdependent brain areas. "Such function will not 'switch' on at a
particular stage of fetal life... It will mature over many pre- and
post-natal months to produce complete pain awareness," said the report.
From: The Pro-Life Infonet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Steven Ertelt <email@example.com>
Subject: British Study: Unborn Children Feel Pain Earlier
Source: Associated Press, London Daily Telegraph; August 31, 2001
* * * * *
Former president Ronald Reagan said once, "When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they
often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing."(New York Times, Jan. 31, 1984) Many people
disputed this statement, but the president received a letter from many doctors, including two former
presidents of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2 weeks later. The letter read:
February 13, 1984
President Ronald Reagan
The White House
As physicians, we, the undersigned, are pleased to associate
ourselves with you in drawing the attention of people across the
nation to the humanity and sensitivity of the human unborn.
That the unborn, the prematurely born, and the newborn of the
human species is a highly complex, sentient, functioning,
individual organism is established scientific fact. That the human
unborn and newly born do respond to stimuli is also established
beyond any reasonable doubt.
The ability to feel pain and respond to it is clearly not a
phenomenon that develops de novo at birth. Indeed, much of
enlightened modern obstetrical practice and procedure seeks to
minimize sensory deprivation of, and sensory insult to, the fetus
during, at, and after birth. Over the last 18 years, real time
ultrasonography, fetoscopy, study of the fetal EKG
(electrocardiogram) and fetal EEG (electroencephalogram) have
demonstrated the remarkable responsiveness of the human fetus to
pain, touch, and sound. That the fetus responds to changes in
light intensity within the womb, to heat, to cold, and to taste
(by altering the chemical nature of the fluid swallowed by the
fetus) has been exquisitely documented in the pioneering work of
the late Sir William Liley -- the father of fetology. Observations
of the fetal electrocardiogram and the increase in fetal movements
in saline abortions indicate that the fetus experiences discomfort
as it dies. Indeed, one doctor who, the New York Times wrote,
"conscientiously performs" saline abortions stated, "When you
inject the saline, you often see an increase in fetal movements,
We state categorically that no finding of modern fetology
invalidates the remarkable conclusion drawn after a lifetime of
research by the late Professor Arnold Gesell of Yale University.
In "The Embryology of Behavior: The Beginnings of the Human Mind"
(1945, Harper Bros.), Dr. Gesell wrote, "and so by the close of
the first trimester the fetus is a sentient, moving being. We need
not speculate as to the nature of his psychic attributes, but we
may assert that the organization of his psychosomatic self is well
Mr. President, in drawing attention to the capability of the human
fetus to feel pain, you stand on firmly established ground.
Dr. Richard T. F. Schmidt, Past President, A.C.O.G., Professor of
Ob/Gyn, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Dr. Vincent Collins, Professor of Anesthesiology, Northwestern
University, University of Illinois Medical Center
Dr. John G. Masterson, Clinical Professor of Ob/Gyn, Northwestern
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, F.A.C.O.G., Clinical Assistant Professor of
Ob/Gyn, Cornell University
Dr. Denis Cavanaugh, F.A.C.O.G., Professor of Ob/Gyn, University
of South Florida
Dr. Watson Bowes, F.A.C.O.G., Professor of Material and Fetal
Medicine, University of North Carolina
Dr. Byron Oberst, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics,
University of Nebraska
Dr. Eugene Diamond, Professor of Pediatrics, Strict School of
Medicine, Chicago, IL
Dr. Thomas Potter, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, New
Jersey Medical College
Dr. Lawrence Dunegan, Instructor of Clinical Pediatrics,
University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Melvin Thornton, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University
of Texas (San Antonio)
Dr. Norman Vernig, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University
of Minnesota (St. Paul)
Dr. Jerome Shen, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, St. Louis
Dr. Fred Hofmeister, Past President, A.C.O.G., Professor of
Ob/Gyn, University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
Dr. Matthew Bulfin, F.A.C.O.G., Lauderdale by the Sea, FL
Dr. Jay Arena, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, Duke University
Dr. Herbert Nakata, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics,
University of Hawaii
Dr. Robert Polley, Clinical Instructor of Pediatrics, University
of Washington (Seattle)
Dr. David Foley, Professor of Ob/Gyn, University of Wisconsin
Dr. Anne Bannon, F.A.A.P., Former Chief of Pediatrics,
CityHospital (St. Louis)
Dr. John J. Brennan, Professor of Ob/Gyn, Medical College of
Dr. Walter F. Watts, Assistant Professor of Ob/Gyn, Strict School
of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Dr. G. C. Tom Nabors, Assistant Clinical Professor of Ob/Gyn,
Southwestern Medical College, Dallas, TX
Dr. Konald Prem, Professor of Ob/Gyn, University of Minnesota
Dr. Alfred Derby, F.A.C.O.G., Spokane, WA
Dr. Bernie Pisani, F.A.C.O.G., President, NY State Medical
Society, Professor of Ob/Gyn, New York University
* * * * *
Doctor Troubled by Pain of Infants in Abortion
February 8, 2002
As a physician, I am always concerned about the level of pain my patients have. One group of people who never receive attention to their level of pain is unborn children. Many scientists have discovered that unborn children experience pain as early as seven weeks gestation. This has been shown by accelerations in their heart rate and brain waves during an abortion. There is no question that a baby in the 2nd and 3rd trimester experiences pain during an abortion. I would like to see legislation passed that makes women aware of fetal pain and gives them the option of receiving some sort of pain medicine during the procedure.
Saline abortions are probably the most painful procedures for infants. This technique is used after 16 weeks of pregnancy, when enough fluid has accumulated in the amniotic fluid sac surrounding the baby. A needle is inserted through the mother's abdomen and 50-250 ml (as much as a cup) of amniotic fluid is withdrawn and replaced with a solution of concentrated salt. The baby breathes in, swallowing the salt and is poisoned. The chemical solution also causes painful burning and deterioration of the baby's skin. Usually, after about an hour, the child dies. The mother goes into labor about 33 to 35 hours after instillation and delivers a dead, burned, shriveled baby. About 97% of mothers deliver their dead babies within 72 hours.
The "Dilation and Extraction" (D&X), or "intact D&E" (IDE) is sometimes referred to as Partial Birth Abortion. This procedure is used on women who are 20- to 32-weeks pregnant -- or even later into pregnancy. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist reaches into the uterus, grabs the unborn baby's leg with forceps and pulls the baby into the birth canal, except for the head, which is deliberately kept just inside the womb. (At this point in a partial-birth abortion, the baby is alive.) Then the abortionist jams scissors into the back of the baby's skull and spreads the tips of the scissors apart to enlarge the wound.
After removing the scissors, a suction catheter is inserted into the skull and the baby's brains are sucked out. The collapsed head is then removed from the uterus.
Animals in veterinarian offices and in research labs are not allowed to suffer like this. Why do we let members of our own race suffer in this fashion 1.5 million times a year? Let's make it a law that these victims receive anesthesia.
- Thomas V. Messe, M.D.
|The MOTHER of ALL CHILDREN
* * * * * * *
Fetal pain: An agonizing reality
When Ronald Reagan was president, he was known for seeing the big picture but sometimes slipping up on fine points. His friends said that he was "not a detail person." So when he said, in January 1984, that preborn children suffer "long and agonizing" pain when they are aborted, a list of experts lined up to denounce him. "Outright demagoguery!" screamed The Washington Post. But neither Reagan nor his pro-life friends backed down, and there ensued a brief battle of experts.
The expert quoted by the pro-abortion side was Ervin E. Nichols, director of practice activities for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). He pontificated: "We are unaware of any evidence of any kind that would substantiate the claim that pain is perceived by a fetus." Two former ACOG presidents fired back. "It can be clearly demonstrated," testified Dr. Richard T. F. Schmidt, "that fetuses seek to evade certain stimuli in a manner which in an adult would be interpreted as reaction to pain." Dr. Fred Hofmeister wrote that the data from electrocardiograms during saline abortions shows "that the fetus experiences discomfort as it dies."
Many other experts wrote or spoke out on the issue, including a specialist in pain control, Dr. Vincent J. Collins, a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiologists. He estimated the age at which a preborn child feels pain: "As early as eight to 10 weeks' gestation, and definitely by thirteen and a half weeks, the human fetus experiences organic pain."
To understand the debate, you must understand the distinction between organic pain and psychological pain, and the problem with detecting pain.
Organic pain is the body's response to some kind of attack, such as a burn or a bang. More technically, organic pain is a physiological or neurological response to noxious (harmful or damaging) stimuli. Psychological pain is more complex: If you can imagine harmful or unpleasant sensations, sense them coming, or remember them, that's psychological pain.
The distinction is interesting, but not relevant. A child may not have expected his parents and physician to hurt him, but that doesn't lessen the pain. And a dead child may tell no tales, but that too doesn't mean it didn't hurt. Saying that it doesn't hurt because the child neither foresaw nor remembers the pain is just mean, like pulling wings off of butterflies and saying it doesn't hurt because they're too small to feel it.
Generally, detecting pain is not complex: The patient complains. The physician doesn't see pain; he hears "Ow!" But a problem arises when your patient won't--or worse, can't--complain. In medical jargon, it is a challenge to detect pain in a "non-communicative subject." Preborn babies, for example, cannot tell you where it hurts, or how much.
It is possible to detect organic pain in a non-communicative subject. Dr. Thomas Sullivan, a pediatric neurologist, says that there are two criteria. First, the subject must have the proper equipment to sense noxious stimuli. For example, a chicken with its head cut off may run around for awhile, but it's missing some of the necessary structures to feel pain.
Dr. Sullivan says that the equipment that humans use to sense pain includes special pain receptors in nerve endings that connect nerve fibers to transmit signals from the receptor to the spinal cord; neurons within the spinal cord that carry the signal to the brain; the thalamus, which senses the pain; and the cortex, which supplies psychological responses to the pain and also directs a response. All of this complex equipment is in place, states Dr. Sullivan, "perhaps as early as eight weeks, but certainly by thirteen and a half weeks."
If the equipment is there, a neurologist can look for the second element: Does the subject "respond aversely"? There are different kinds of responses to stimuli, reflexive and aversive. When the doctor hits your knee with a hammer, you kick, but this is not evidence of pain or anger. This is a reflexive response. If you stick your fingers down your throat, a gagging reflex occurs without any consultation with your brain. An aversive response is far more complex; it engages the whole central nervous system and "[involves] the whole body's attempt to escape or avert noxious stimuli."
Dr. William Matviuw, an obstetrician/gynecologist, says that the nerves that sense pain reach the skin of the fetus by the ninth week of gestation. Electrical impulses pass through the neural fibers and through the spinal column between the eighth and ninth week of gestation. Detectable brain activity in response to noxious stimuli occurs between the eighth and tenth week.1
Using all this equipment and then responding may take a little longer, says Dr. Matviuw. At seven weeks, a child will pull his lips back if you tap on his mouth. By 10 weeks, the palms of the hands are sensitive to touch. By 11 weeks, the face will respond to touch. "By thirteen and a half weeks, organic response to noxious stimuli occurs at all levels of the nervous system, from the pain receptors to the thalamus." 2
The information about the pain a child feels when an abortion does not kill instantly has been available for years. But the whole point of an abortion is to deny the humanity of preborn children.
Abortionists won't let a little pain--or a lot of pain in a little person--get in the way of that fierce denial.
1 Stanislaw Reinis and Jerome M. Goldman, The Development of the Brain, 1980, pp. 223-235. Springfield, IL:
Charles C Thomas Publishers.
2 V. J. Collins, Principles of Anesthesiology 1976, pp. 922-923. Philadelphia, PA: Lea & Fabiger.
The question that comes to mind regarding fetal pain is "Why doesn't the pro-abortion side want the public to know that fetal pain exists?" Surely the abortionist doesn't care whether the fetus feels pain. Like a paid assassin, the abortionist is interested only in receiving compensation for his service.
I believe the reason for hiding this information from the general public is the fact that parents naturally want to shield their children from any pain and suffering. If the pro-abortion crowd can persuade parents that the fetus is not truly a person, then there is no reason to protect the fetus from harm. If parents knew that they were causing pain and distress to their child they would not choose to abort.
* * * * * * *
Does the fetus feel pain?
In testimony before the House Constitution Subcommittee, Professor Robert White confirmed that the 'fetus within this time frame of gestation, 20 weeks and beyond, is fully capable of experiencing pain.... Without question, all of this is a dreadfully painful experience for any infant subjected to such a surgical procedure."
Summary of a presentation given by Dr. Paul Ranalli on "Pain, Fetal Development, and Partial-birth abortion" on
June 27, 1997. (I personally attended this presentation). Related links are included below.
The fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. This is probably a conservatively late estimate, but it is scientifically solid.
Elements of the pain-conveying system (spino-thalamic system) begin to be assembled at 7 weeks; enough
development has occurred by 12-14 weeks that some pain perception is likely, and continues to build through the
second trimester. By 20 weeks, the spino- thalamic system is fully established and connected.
There are three different indicators providing evidence that the fetus feels pain.
- pain receptors spread over the body in stages: 8-16 weeks
- pain impulse connections in the spinal cord link up and reach the thalamus (the brain's reception center):
7-20 weeks (summarized by Anand, K.J.S., Atlanta)
- fetuses withdraw from painful stimulation
- two types of stress hormones, normally released by adults subjected to pain, are released by adults
subjected to pain, are releases in massive amounts by the fetus subjected to a needle puncture to draw a
(a) from 19 weeks onward (N. Fisk; London, England)
(b) from 16 weeks onward (J. Partch; Kiel, Germany)
- withdraw from pain
- change in vital signs
A 20-30 week old fetus actually will feel more pain than an adult. The period between 20-30 weeks is a uniquely
vulnerable time, since the pain system is fully established, yet the higher level pain-modifying system has barely
begun to develop.
Below is a graphical represenation depicting this mis-match in pain detection and pain modification
Dr. Paul Ranalli is a neurologist at the University of Toronto and acting president of the de Veber Institute for
Bioethics and Social Research. He is also Vice-President of Canadian Physicians For Life
Franics X. Rocca @ The American Spectator
Babies may feel pain of abortion Roger Highfield @ Electronic Telegraph
Pain and It's Effects In the Human Neonate and Fetus - from the New England Journal of Medicine. Vol. 317
No 21 (19 Nov. 1987): Pages 1321-1329.
Foetus 'may feel pain as early as six week old'
Abortion doctors may give foetuses painkiller
In testimony before the House Constitution Subcommittee, Professor Robert White confirmed that the 'fetus within this time frame of gestation, 20 weeks and beyond, is fully capable of experiencing pain.... Without question, all of this is a dreadfully painful experience for any infant subjected to such a surgical procedure."
* * * * * * *
Editor's note. The following is excerpted from the testimony of Dr. Jean A. Wright, presented
at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that took place January 21. Dr. Emery is an Associate
Professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesia at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. My name is Jean A. Wright, M.D., M.B.A. I am a
practicing pediatric intensive care physician. I am board certified in pediatrics, anesthesia,
and in both sub-boards of critical care medicine. I would like to focus my remarks today from
the perspective of a practicing pediatrician and clinical investigator. I was a pre-medical
student in 1973, and my own personal career in medicine since then, in many ways, parallels the
changes that have taken place since the Roe v. Wade decision.
Although I have spent the majority of my career in the academic medical center, the knowledge
available to me today as a practicing clinician is as available to all physicians and to much
of the public as well (due in part to the Internet). I am speaking for myself, and not on
behalf of any organization.
I would like to focus my remarks on the changes we have seen in the field of pediatrics,
particularly the areas of neonatology, surgery, anesthesia, and intensive care. Medical
knowledge in those areas provides a new standard of science upon which a very different
conclusion might be reached if Roe v. Wade were decided in 1998, rather than the limited
information that was available in 1973.
The Science of Neonatology:
A New Definition of Viability for the Premature Infant
In 1973, neonatology was in its early years as a separate subspecialty of pediatrics. The
understanding of the physiology of the pre-term infant, and the equipment, medications,
physicians, and specialized units available to care for them were present, but limited or
primitive. By contrast, today there are thousands of neonatologists, hundreds of neonatal
intensive care units, and breaking discoveries in the world and womb of the developing fetus
In 1973, the scientific discussion heavily focused on the issues of fetal viability. At that
time, the common understanding was that infants born before 28 weeks could not survive. Today,
that age of viability has been pushed back from 28 weeks to 23 and 24 weeks. And some
investigators are working on an artificial placenta to support those even younger.
In fact, while the number of children that are born and survive at 23 to 28 weeks gestation are
still a minority of the infants in a NICU, they are common enough that the colloquial term
"micro-preemie" has been coined to describe them, and an additional body of neonatal science
has grown to support the care of the very premature infant. So in 25 years, we have gone from a
practice in which infants once thought to be nonviable are now beneficiaries of medical
advances to provide them with every opportunity to survive.
The Science of Anesthesia: A Better Understanding of the Development of Pain Perception
1. The new knowledge of the development of pain in the fetus.
...Several types of observations speak for the functional maturity of the cerebral cortex in
the fetus and neonate. First are reports of fetal and neonatal EEG patterns, including cortical
components of visual and auditory evoked potentials, that have been recorded
in pre-term babies of less than 28 weeks gestation. Cortical evoked potentials to somatosensory
stimuli (touch, pain, heat, cold) were also recently documented in pre-term neonates from 26
Ultrasonographic findings report specific fetal movements in response to needle punctures in
utero (Robinson and Smotherman, 1992; Sival, 1993). Moreover, a controlled study of
intrauterine blood sampling and blood transfusions in fetuses between 20 and 34 weeks of
gestation showed that hormonal responses that were consistent with fetal perception of pain,
and were correlated with the duration of the painful stimulus (Gianna-koulopuolos et al.,
Pre-term neonates born at 23 weeks gestation show highly specific and well-coordinated
physiologic and behavioral responses to pain, similar to those seen in full-term neonates,
older infants, and small children (Pain in Neonates, Anand and McGrath, 1993).
All of the scientific references I have just made are from research breakthroughs in the last
10 years. This information was not available in 1973. As a result of this newly emerging
understanding of fetal pain development, Anand and Craig, in a 1996 editorial in the journal
PAIN, called for a new definition of pain, a definition that is not subjective, and that is not
dependent on the patient's ability to provide a self-report.
2. Increased sensitivity to pain in pre-term infants.
Contrary to previous teachings current data indicate that pre-term neonates have greater pain
sensitivity than term neonates or older age groups. Several lines of scientific evidence
support this concept....
[S]tudies ... indicate the presence of the pathways needed for the conduction of pain, and a
lower pain threshold in pre-term neonates, with the occurrence of further decreases in pain
threshold following exposure to a painful experience (Fitzgerald).
The Science of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Anesthesia: New Concepts of Fetal Surgery and
In the early 70s, many pre-term infants were considered too ill to tolerate the effects of
anesthesia in order to undergo their needed surgery. Even by the early 80s (the time I entered
my first years as a pediatric anesthesiologist), pre-term infants still received minimal
anesthesia in the operating room and NICU. It wasn't until two landmark articles published in
1987 ... that the practice of pediatric anesthesia began to change broadly.... Today we are the
beneficiaries of an enormous fund of new medical knowledge, and I believe we should incorporate
that into our approach to protecting the life of the unborn.
Furthermore, places such as the University of California, with its Fetal Surgery Center, are
doing just that. Exciting surgical advances which allow for the surgeon to partially remove the
fetus through an incision in the womb, fix the congenital defect, and then slip the
"pre-viable" infant back into the womb should make us reconsider the outcome and viability of
many pre-term infants, particularly those with challenging congenital defects.
And should a family be stricken by the terrible news that their anticipated newborn has a
condition that is likely to be fatal upon delivery, the concept of "perinatal hospice" is now
available. Many grieving parents have relayed to me how precious those few hours were when they
held their newly delivered baby in their arms before it died. For a few hours, they were a
family. The family was able to embrace its newest member, celebrate its short life, and then
move on to the grieving stage. Just as adult hospice programs have helped many of us deal with
the last days and hours of a loved one's life, hospice care in the NICU can bring meaning to a
very dark hour in a family's life.
The Changes in Public Attitude on Abortion:
Decreased Total Numbers and Decreased Support
Popular polls and population surveys indicate that the country has changed its opinion
regarding abortion. As reported ... in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the
number of abortions in this country has decreased. In the Atlanta Journal, on January 16, they
report that since 1989, "supporters of generally available legal abortion have slipped to 32%
from 40%, ... and those who said abortion should be available [but under more restricted
circumstances] have increased to 45% from 40%" in 1989 (quoting a New York Times/CBS News
poll). Perhaps one of the many reasons that have led to these changes in public opinion is the
overall concern our citizens have demonstrated towards other vulnerable segments of our
population now is being applied to the unborn child....
The scientific literature reviewed above and my clinical experience in the delivery of
anesthesia and the care of critically ill and injured children lead me to believe that:
1. Many infants considered nonviable in 1973 are viable in today's world of advanced neonatal
2. There is a growing body of literature regarding the care needed for the survival of the
3. The anatomical and functional processes responsible for the perception of pain are developed
in human fetuses that may be considered candidates for abortions, particularly late-term
"partial-birth abortions." At this stage of neurologic development, human fetuses respond to
the pain caused by needle puncture in utero in a similar manner as older children or adults,
within the limits of their behavioral repertoire.
4. The threshold for such pain perception is lower than that of older pre-term newborns,
full-term newborns, and older age groups. Thus, the pain experienced during abortions by the
human fetus would have a much greater intensity than any similar procedures performed in older
5. Current methods for providing maternal anesthesia during "partial-birth abortions" or other
forms of abortion are unlikely to prevent the experience of pain and stress in the human
fetuses before their death occurs, particularly those by partial decapitation.
6. New techniques have allowed some forms of fetal surgery to provide a more promising outlook
for children previously thought to have life-threatening congenital deformities.
7. Our understanding of the psychosocial needs of the family are better now, and we offer
perinatal hospice care as a way of bringing meaning and purpose to a very dark time in the life
of a family.
The science referred to in this presentation is a reflection of the science of the 1980s and
1990s. The medical profession did not know this in 1973. Those who made the Roe v. Wade
decision did not know it. But history constantly reveals a pattern of how difficult it is for
society to change paradigms once believed....
Today we are hearing evidence, both medical and legal, that was not available to our
counterparts in 1973. We cannot change the [past] ramifications of their decision, but we can
make better and more informed decisions today. Just as the incoming tide raises the level of
the water in the harbor and in doing so all the boats rise to the same new level, so should we
allow the tide of new medical and legal information to serve as a tide to raise both our
medical and legal understanding of the unborn, and in doing so, lead us to making better
decisions for this vulnerable population.
* * * * * * *
Fetal Study Adds Fuel to Late-Term Abortion Debate
by Kelly O. Beaucar
A study released this week in the United
Kingdom suggests that a fetus might feel pain
as early as 20 weeks, sparking concerns over
medical procedures on premature infants and
emboldening the opponents of late-term
"This study underscores the gruesome nature of
abortion," charges Kristi Hamrick of The Center for
Reclaiming America, which is joining with other pro-life
groups next week to launch a campaign to bring a ban on late-term abortions back in front of Congress this session.
According to reports, the head the government-appointed Medical Research Council at Edinburgh University in the United Kingdom said a fetus was absolutely aware of pain by 24 weeks and perhaps as early as 20 weeks - earlier than the previously
accepted 26 weeks.
The findings indicate a need for more research on ways to treat neonatal pre-term
infants, who may experience pain from a number of medical procedures that could
affect them in long-term development. And the study raises questions over whether
and which pre-term babies ought to be given anesthetics in the womb during birth.
But the study also provides new fuel for the debate over abortion rights, in particular
Hamrick says she believes life occurs at conception and must be protected thereafter, but claims that the Edinburgh study can only help her cause.
"It does not change the fact that (anywhere) along the pendulum swing (from
conception to birth) this is still a human being," she said. "But this information is helpful to bringing our country to a consensus on where we should draw some lines."
Abortion during any trimester is legal in the United States under federal law. Several
states have attempted to ban so-called partial birth abortions - a procedure where the baby is partially delivered down the birth canal before the abortion is performed. Those bans have been successfully challenged in the Supreme Court.
A federal ban on partial birth abortions has passed the House and Senate twice, but
was short the votes to override a presidential veto. President Clinton vetoed the
measure both times.
Confident that President Bush, who said he would sign the ban on late-term abortions during the 2000 campaign, would sign the bill if it gets to his desk, pro-life activists are gearing up for their latest fight.
Abortion rights groups, including the National Organization for Women, the National
Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood, say that
any move to advance a ban on late-term abortions is one step closer to reversing the
landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which restricted individual states'
abilities to regulate or ban abortions.
Dr. Susan Dudley, deputy director of the National Abortion Federation, a network for
physicians who perform abortions, said fetal pain is a complex issue that is far from
But whether or not the fetus can feel pain - at 26 weeks, 20 weeks or earlier - the
vast majority of abortions today are conducted in the first trimester and groups like
NAF will continue to support that right, she said.
"The obvious and most important thing to say is most abortions take place before 20
weeks," Dudley said. Even if the Edinburgh study is accurate, she said, "it would have very little impact on people who are contemplating an abortion."
According to the latest numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics, 1.3
million abortions took place in the U.S. during 1997.
Jobs at Fox News Channel
firstname.lastname@example.org; For Fox News Channel comments write to
©Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2001 Standard & Poor's
* * * * *
Links for Fetal Pain:
* * * * *
Rep. Depra Brimhall introduced a "fetal pain bill" in the Arizona State Legislature.
Rep. Debra Brimhall introduced a proposal in the form of an amendment to a bill before a committee of the Arizona State Legislature. The proposal would have require abortionists to tell women seeking abortions that their unborn baby may experience pain during the abortion and would also have required the abortionist to offer anesthesia for the baby. The measure was defeated in a 4 to 4 tie.
(For more information, contact: Arizona Right to Life, 77 E. Columbus Avenue,
Suite 209, Phoenix, AZ 85012, (602) 285-0063)
"In 1994, an article in the prestigious British medical journal, the
Lancet, revealed hormonal stress reactions in the fetus. The article
concluded with the recommendation that painkillers be used when surgery is
done on the fetus.
The authors wrote, "This applies not just to diagnostic and therapeutic
procedures on the fetus, but possibly also to termination of pregnancy,
especially by surgical techniques involving dismemberment."
In 1991, scientific advisors to the Federal Medical Council in Germany had
made a similar recommendation.
And the Australian national Health and Medical Research Council requires painkillers to be used on the fetuses of animals.
In 1997, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reported
that the fetus could not feel pain until 26 weeks, but urged anesthesia
from 24 weeks. In August 2001, however, Great Britain's Medical Research
Council revised that conclusion and said that pain perception may be as
early as 20 weeks.
Another Parliamentary group of 15 scientists from Britain, Ireland and
Australia concluded that the mechanisms for pain perception are in place
and functional before the 10th week of gestation."
( Associated Press; March 22, 2002)
* * * * *
|"The voice of thy brother's blood crieth out to Me from the earth." (Gen. 4,10)
|"God Himself will be their avenger" (Pope Pius XI)
|Whatever may be abortion with anesthesia - without it, is worse.
| The souls of aborted babies, in the words of Pope John Paul II, "are in the hand of God". It is therefore recommended that mothers wishing to be united, in some manner, to an aborted child, strive through prayer, repentance and Grace to be united to God our heavenly and merciful Father.
| * Under the term "Truce of God" is understood all the legal measures enacted in the Middles Ages
|for the purpose of mitigating, reducing or eliminating the damages and pain of war.