Fetal Pain

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 anesthetic had already killed the fetal baby. (Top officials of the U.S.)


Society for Obstetric Anesthesia & Perinatology vigorously denied this explaining that usual anesthesia did not harm the baby. (D. Gianelli, Anesthesiologists Question Claims in Abortion DebateAm. 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)