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‘Fetal pain’ study misses the mark

Regardless of supposed findings, ability to feel pain is no justification for killing of innocent preborn children

Judie Brown, president of American Life League, issued the following statement about the extensive attention given to a new study regarding pain felt by preborn children:

It is unjustifiable that researchers from the University of California have received wide-ranging coverage for their bogus claim that preborn children do not feel pain until well after their twentieth week of gestational life. We know this claim to be not only completely baseless but also terribly insensitive to the rights of these human persons.

Several years ago, and without the assistance of the media, Dr. Bernard Nathanson produced a video, The Silent Scream, that clearly demonstrated how a young human being in utero not only feels pain but will move when necessary to avoid the discomfort. In addition, Dr. Vincent Collins, M.D., a diplomat of the American Board of Anesthesiologists, stated years ago, “As early as eight to ten weeks gestation and definitely by thirteen and a half weeks, the human fetus experiences organic pain.”

One wonders why these researchers from the University of California would choose this particular time to issue such faulty findings. It is seems their statement is based more on politics than on science. Father Joseph Howard, Director of the Catholic Medical Ethics Advisory Board of American Life League has reviewed the findings and states, “we can certainly say that the experimental protocol is not accepted by all scientists, which means the conclusions may not be valid.”

The bottom line is, regardless of whether or not the human being in utero feels pain, there is no justification for killing that person at any point in his life prior to birth. A civilized society does not kill people simply because it has been concluded that they won’t feel the pain of dying.

Release issued: 24 Aug 05