Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Support H.R. 6099

From Citizen Link:
The 109th Congress is almost over and pro-life advocates are urging Congress to bring the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, H.R. 6099, to the floor while a vote is still possible.

Authored by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., the bill has 93 co-sponsors. It would require abortion providers to tell women who are aborting 20 weeks or more after fertilization about the severe pain their preborn children will feel during the procedure. It would also require that the woman be allowed to decide whether her preborn could receive anesthesia, if it is more than 20-weeks-old.

Several studies have shown that preborn babies as early as 20 weeks after fertilization experience severe pain during the abortion procedure.

Federal laws regulating animal welfare require that animals destined for slaughter experience a pain-free death, but that law does not protect preborn children from the remarkable pain they undergo in an abortion.

Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, a researcher at the University of Arkansas Medical Center and a leading expert on fetal pain, said he has no doubt that babies have the capacity to feel intense pain by the second trimester. In the third trimester of pregnancy, he said, the internal systems for feeling pain are completely developed. "This is based on multiple lines of evidence," Anand said. "Not just the lack of descending inhibitory fibers, but also the number of receptors in the skin, the level of expression of various chemicals, neurotransmitters, receptors, and things like that."

Some researchers believe that fetuses have the ability to feel real pain beginning as early as the first trimester, as by seven weeks certain anatomical structures have been established. Most, however, accept that the unborn have the ability to register pain by the second or third trimester, which is the default position of this bill.

Several years ago in England, Dr. Vivette Glover triggered controversy when she announced to the BBC that "while it is unlikely the fetus can feel anything before 13 weeks, 'after 26 weeks it is quite probable. But between 17 and 26 [weeks] it is increasingly possible that it starts to feel something and that abortions done in that period ought to use anaesthesia'".

Dr. Glover is, in fact, pro-abortion, yet she honestly followed the research to her conclusion that after 17 weeks of gestation, anesthesia should be used on the unborn before aborting them because of the high probability of pain. She separated the politics from the known facts.

Sadly, in the U.S. many pro-abortion advocates have been unwilling to support a law requiring abortion providers to be straight with a woman seeking abortion---that it might cause pain to the unborn child and that anesthesia could be made available for the fetus, if she desired it. Perhaps they fear that admitting the research and allowing for anesthesia would weaken there overall position. Yet that is not necessarily so, as civilized societies have laws governing even the treatment of animals to lessen their pain when going through certain procedures that could cause it.

Surely, this is a bill that those on opposing sides of the aisle should be able to jointly support. Basic decency and mercy needn't be politicized. Please contact your representative in the House and ask him or her to support H.R. 6099, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

Additional links: The Emerging Reality of Fetal Pain in Late Abortion
More information on H.R. 6099 from the House of Representatives


At 12/05/2006 2:28 PM, Blogger Christopher Taylor said...

Let me get this straight: its only wrong to kill babies when it hurts???

At 12/05/2006 10:11 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

I don't think that was the point. Obviously, those of us who are pro-life think abortion is wrong whether it hurts them or not. But if an abortion is going to be done, it is only right to acknowledge the pain factor and perhaps lessen it. From a moral perspective, it doesn't mitigate the sin, an unpopular word, but I'll use it nonetheless. Pro-abortion forces, however, don't want any mention of fetal pain or anesthesia. Why?


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