SCIENTISTS say that unborn babies may be able to experience pain before reaching 24 weeks, which means they may suffer before being aborted.
Medical opinion has stated that a fetus will not experience pain before reaching 24 weeks, after which abortion is illegal in Britain, except in special cases.
But two medical researchers say that recent studies strongly suggest that the hypothesis is incorrect and that research indicates that unborn babies can experience “something like pain” already after 13 weeks of gestation.
In an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME), the couple argues that women who opt for abortions that have reached 13 weeks of age should be informed that the fetus may experience pain while being interrupted.
They also say that medical staff should ask if the woman wants the fetus to receive pain relief.
The main author of the controversial article is British professor Stuart Derbyshire, who worked as a consultant for the UK Pro-Choice Forum and Planned Parenthood, one of America’s leading choice organizations and American physician John Bockmann.
The couple says that ignoring the new evidence “flirts with moral imprudence”.
They say there is now “good evidence” that the brain and nervous system have been sufficiently wired for 18 weeks for the fetus to feel pain.
Their conclusions raise serious questions for the abortion industry in the UK, which made 218,281 terminations in 2018.
That number equates to nearly a quarter – or 23 percent – of all pregnancies. About 6,000 abortions are performed annually at 18 weeks or later.
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Professor Derbyshire and dr. Bockmann wrote: “Given the evidence that the fetus may be able to experience something similar to pain during subsequent abortions, it seems reasonable that the clinical team and the pregnant woman are encouraged to consider fetal analgesia. [pain relief]”.
But Clare Murphy, of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), said: “The most comprehensive review of this problem to date has concluded that a fetus cannot experience pain before 24 weeks. There is nothing in this document that can lead to a change in practice. ‘
Dr Anthony McCarthy, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: “A company that claims to take animal pain seriously should not be reduced by comparison with the pain inflicted on young humans in the name of” choice “.
“Making death painless for the killed person does not mean, however, that taking life is therefore justified.”
Meanwhile, cross-colleague Lord Alton, who is part of a parliamentary investigation into fetal pain, said: “This new evidence adds further pressure on Parliament to urgently review our current time limit for abortion. We had the latest discussion on time limits in 2008. “