Pro-Abortion Side Considers Children Less Than Animals

Steven Mosher
By Joseph A. D'Agostino
PRI Weekly Briefing
1 December 2006
Vol. 8, No. 47
Reproduced with Permission

The culture of death is gearing up to defeat a modest humanitarian proposal due to be voted on by the U.S. House next week. This proposal would merely make anesthesia accessible to unborn children whose mothers are choosing to abort them and in no way restricts the availability of abortion. In fact, it's even up to the aborting mother to decide if an anesthetic should be used. Yet this is too much for the pro-abortion movement.

It's been completely obvious since 1995 that pro-abortion and feminist groups put inconvenient children below animals in the scheme of existence. After all, the partial-birth abortion debate first heated up that year, and to this day, the abortion movement and its political and media allies enthusiastically defend the practice of delivering a nine-month-old baby up to his head and then puncturing his skull in order to suck out his brain. Just a few more inches, and the act would be legal murderŅand this in a country where married couples wait years to adopt newborns.

The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act (HR 6099) would require abortionists to have an aborting mother with a child at 20 weeks gestation or later sign a document explaining the likelihood that her unborn child will feel pain during the abortion, and offering her the option of anesthesia for her child. Anesthetics given to aborting mothers have little effect on unborn children unless the dose is dangerously high, and therefore must be given to the unborn children directly. There is solid scientific evidence that babies feel pain at 20 weeks (perhaps earlier), and even many who say 20 weeks is too early admit that unborn children feel pain beginning at 22 weeks.

D&E abortions are performed as late as 24 weeks. During a D&E abortion, an unborn child is dismembered one body part at a time. You can imagine how painful that must be. Instillation abortions are performed even later in pregnancy. During an instillation abortion, concentrated salt water is injected into the womb. As the salt burns the baby's skin, he or she inhales the noxious solution until dying up to an hour later. Imagine gradually drowning in a sea of acid, and you will understand what happens to children in this country every day.

Some abortion survivors remain disfigured for life due to contact with this salt solution in the womb during a botched abortion (a botched abortion is one in which the baby doesn't die). If the unborn child is not a person, how did these people get their burns?

Unfortunately, even though the supposedly pro-life House Republican leadership continues to control Congress until January, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act will be brought up under special rules that require a two-thirds vote for it to pass.

"This is common-ground legislation that seeks to provide women with all the relevant information on the extent of the pain her unborn child will feel during the procedure and provide her with the option to reduce that suffering," says Rep. Chris Smith (R.-N.J.), sponsor of the bill. "This bill ensures informed consent for women and gives a basic modicum of protection for the unborn victims of abortions. It is my hope that my colleagues will support the middle ground, the view of most Americans, and vote in favor of this legislation next week." Sen. Sam Brownback (R.-Kan.) is ready to press the bill in the Senate if it passes the House.

Of course, pro-lifers hope that some women, upon learning what their babies could feel, will choose not to have their planned abortions.

By 20 weeks, all the parts of the body needed for a baby to feel pain are in place. In fact, there is plenty of evidence that babies feel pain before 20 weeks. For example, stress hormones released by 18-week babies poked by a needle go down in volume when pain-relieving drugs are given. The partial-birth abortion trials took testimony from abortionists who themselves said that babies in the second trimester showed signs of feeling pain while they were being killed.

Of course, the pro-abortion side claims that unborn children do not feel pain until 29 weeks or later. Most pro-abortion activists want unborn children to feel the excruciating pain that our laws forbid us to inflict on the animals we eat. As the National Right to Life Committee notes, the Humane Slaughter Act dictates that animal slaughter is humane only when "all animals are rendered insensible to pain by a single blow or gunshot or an electrical, chemical, or other means that is rapid and effective, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut." Too bad that doesn't apply to the babies slowly drowning in a burning salt solution as you read this.

Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, Director of the Pain Neurobiology Lab at the Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute, states summarily, "The human fetus possesses the ability to experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and the pain perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense that that perceived by term newborns or older children."

To its credit, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) is not opposing the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. Its president said about an earlier version of the bill, "Pro-choice Americans have always believed that women deserve access to all the information relevant to their reproductive health decisions. For some women, that includes information related to fetal anesthesia options."

Democrats, the new masters of Congress, have been casting about for ways to appear more moderate on abortion. Several new pro-life Democrats were elected to Congress this year. The vote on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act will be a test to see if large numbers of pro-abortion Democrats are willing to allow unborn children just a little consideration.

For more information on unborn child pain, go to: