to the editor from this week's Chronicle:
Dr. Sonny Anand, considered one of the leading researchers on neonatal
and fetal pain, has stated in a document accepted as expert by a federal
court, “It is my opinion that the human fetus possesses the ability to
experience pain from 20 weeks of gestation, if not earlier, and that pain
perceived by a fetus is possibly more intense than that perceived by newborns
or older children.”
When a 2010 ABC News report quoted the American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists (ACOG) statement that it knew of “no legitimate evidence
showing a fetus can ever experience pain,” Dr. Anand, replied:
“No one is as blind as someone who does not want to see. Fetal pain
does occur and science would be better served if we acknowledge this capability
of conscious perception in the human fetus.”
Dr. Anand’s landmark review, “Pain in the Neonate and Fetus,” was published
in 1987 in the New England Journal of Medicine, a very “legitimate” peer-reviewed
article showing concrete evidence of fetal pain.
Another “legitimate” peer-reviewed article published in September,
1999, in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (the leading
ob-gyn journal in the UK) concluded: “Given the anatomical evidence,
it is possible that the fetus can feel pain from 20 weeks and is caused
distress by interventions from as early as 15 or 16 weeks.”
The ACOG statement ignored 30 years of fetal pain research indicating
the unborn child is capable of feeling pain. These independent authorities
say that there is substantial evidence from multiple lines of research
that the unborn child can feel pain during the fifth and sixth months and
perhaps somewhat earlier.
ACOG is an association of ob/gyn, many of whom unfortunately perform
We applaud Senator Winder for sponsoring the Fetal Pain-Capable Unborn
Child Protection Act, S 1165 this session. We also thank
House sponsors Rep. Brent Crane and Rep. Lynn Luker and Co-sponsors Sen.
Sheryl Nuxoll, Sen. Russ Fulcher, Sen. Steve Vick, Sen. Monty Pearce, Sen.
Shirley McKague, Rep. Janice McGeachin, Rep. Paul Shepherd, Rep.
Ken Roberts, Rep. Dick Harwood, Rep. Vito Barbieri, Rep. Judy Boyle, Rep.
Reed DeMordaunt, Rep. Jim Guthrie, and Rep. Steve Thayn.
Right to Life of Idaho
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