Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Of course babies can feel pain.

If they can't, then why the hell was Scott Peterson convicted of killing both his wife and his unborn child? If the child essentially didn't experience anything when his mother died, then he would not have been considered a crime victim. He would have been just another dead fetus. If a mom doesn't want her baby & kills it before it's born that is her protected right, but if a dad doesn't want it he can be jailed for failing to pay the mom to raise it? Just seems strange to me.
Would that all children born into this world were loved & wanted by both parents, but I just can not accept that killing them before their birth is a humane & reasonable response to an unplanned for pregnancy.

Dr. Steve Calvin weighs in with his valid & experienced opinion:

Steve Calvin
August 30, 2005

Last week's article on fetal pain in the Journal of the American Medical Association proves the desperation of the defenders of unrestricted abortion. The article reviews medical literature and concludes that fetuses are unlikely to feel pain prior to 30 weeks gestation.
The authors were clearly motivated to write what I view as a medical fantasy to counter proposed federal legislation that would limit abortion in the second trimester. The legislation would require informing women considering abortion that fetuses beyond 20 weeks feel pain and would require anesthesia for the fetus.
Twenty-five years of delivering babies and a specialization in high-risk obstetrics provide me some experience to refute the claim that fetuses feel no pain until 30 weeks. Many of the tiny babies that I deliver, some as small as 1 pound at 23 weeks, have required surgery during their difficult neonatal battle for life. All of them receive anesthesia.
Before the 1970s, many newborns, both term and preterm, were operated on without anesthesia in the mistaken belief that they could not feel pain. They certainly couldn't tell anyone about their discomfort. With more sophisticated monitoring it became clear that blood pressure and pulse rose dramatically during the trauma of surgery. Subsequently, a subspecialty of pediatric anesthesia developed.
Those who deny fetal pain claim that hormonal and withdrawal responses to invasive procedures are mere reflexes and are no evidence of pain. Recently, I performed an amniocentesis on a patient at 21 weeks gestation because of a possible infection. On ultrasound, the fetus pulled away from the needle when it grazed her arm. It is clear to me that this fetus felt discomfort, and that she would feel horrible pain if she were dismembered in the exercise of an unjust constitutional right.
The medical literature duel over abortion has been quite one-sided since most of the medical hierarchy is ardently pro-abortion. There are, however, courageous exceptions.
The most important medical study on abortion this year got absolutely no media coverage. A French study in the April 2005 British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology convincingly showed that a previous abortion increased the risk of subsequent delivery at 22 to 27 weeks by 70 percent. Premature birth has heavy personal and societal costs, yet the alarm over the increasing rate of prematurity ignores the abortion connection.
The fight over requirements for informed consent prior to abortion continues because abortion defenders refuse to accept any restriction on this manufactured constitutional right to exercise prenatal lethal violence. Their blind orthodoxy requires denial of fetal pain and willful ignorance of the significant long-term consequences of abortion.
Steve Calvin is a Minneapolis physician.


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