Dec 13, 2013
Fetuses Cannot Feel Pain
Posted on Aug 12, 2013
There’s been a recent uptick in the use of phrases such as “fetal pain” or “pain-capable unborn child” in anti-abortion rhetoric. Such discomfort, make no mistake, is scientifically impossible. An embryo doesn’t develop connections between its brain and its body’s pain receptors until about 24 weeks after it’s conceived. This means that the laws states have passed banning abortion after 20 weeks because unborn children will supposedly suffer are based on blatant lies.
Dr. Anne Davis, consulting medical director at Physicians for Reproductive Health, told Salon:
But facts haven’t stopped politicians, such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, from supporting legislation that could be harmful to patients’ health. Davis explains that some abortions are necessary at 20 weeks due to complications that cannot be foreseen early on. In these cases, doctors in states where laws allow termination only after severe medical complications must wait until their patients’ condition worsens before they can perform a life-saving procedure.
Anti-choice advocates and legislators are doing a lot of harm to these women whose ability to feel pain is very real. And yet, like most discourse regarding abortion, somehow the unborn receive more attention and consideration than the living. As Davis exclaims, “The whole debate—the way the whole thing is framed—is very shaming to patients. Let’s bring respect back into it. Treat people with respect. Have compassion for patients. Do what’s right for them.”
And what’s right should be up to the woman and her doctor, not politicians.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi
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