Latest newsletter #152 Click to read online

The tide is turning in recognition of the human rights of unborn babies

by Moira Kirkwood

In America legislators have acted on awareness of excruciating pain felt by unborn babies during abortion, at least from twenty weeks gestation, if not sooner.

In 1984 President Regan drew attention to the reality of fetal pain, for which he was ridiculed by leftists. It is now well established by research that “preborn babies respond to touch, sound, taste, and light by 20 weeks, and to pain between 16-20 weeks. All sensory nerves and organs are developed by eight weeks, with communication established between them by 11 to 16 weeks”.The science validating the reality of fetal pain was the result of research by Dr Steven Zielinski,Dr Vincent Collins and Thomas J. Marzen. “The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child’s development in the womb,” they wrote. “By thirteen and a half weeks the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body.” In the case of pre-natal surgery, anesthesia is administered to unborn babies from twenty weeks, on the basis of pain awareness.

Defenders of late abortions try to argue that the unborn child at twenty weeks is not capable of feeling pain, claiming the connections in the fetal brain are not fully formed. Those who know something about fetal pain physiology, however, have solid medical evidence to believe that the child not only feels pain, but feels it more severely than an infant or an adult.

Dr. Paul Ranalli, neurologist at the University of Toronto writes that 20 weeks gestation is a “uniquely vulnerable time, since the pain system is fully established, yet the higher level pain-modifying system has barely begun to develop. At twenty weeks, the child has all the parts in place – the pain receptors, spinal cord, nerve tracts, and thalamus – needed for transmitting and feeling pain.

“The unborn child responds to touch as early as week six, and by week eighteen, pain receptors have appeared throughout the child’s body. The thalamus which is the center of pain consciousness in the brain develops during weeks eight through sixteen, and the nerve tracts connecting the spinal cord and thalamus are themselves in place by week 20.” In two landmark cases in the US abortion after twenty weeks has been banned: The Federal House of Representatives and the State of Texas. On June 18th this year the “Pain- Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” (H.R. 1797), passed the House by a vote of 228-196. This was regarded as a significant victory for the pro-life movement, even though it would be unlikely to pass a Democratic controlled Senate, and President Obama has threatened to veto the measure.

In the State of Texas a ban of abortion of twenty weeks gestation or more has survived radical attacks made upon it, and has been signed into law by Governor Rick Perry.

In the Texas Senate debate Democrat Wendy Davis waged a filibuster against the Bill on June 26, the last day of the special session. She spoke for over eleven hours. When the filibuster was finally suspended on the grounds that Senator Davis had strayed off the topic, further debate ensued with a result that the Bill was not passed in time for a midnight deadline of the special session. Gov Perry then called a second special session for dealing with unfinished business, including the abortion Bill.

Grassroots pro-life people were indignant at losing the vote as a result of Sen Davis’ action and rallied to the cause in large numbers. They were confronted by a violent mob of pro-abortion lobbyists, screaming threats and obscenities. Pro-lifers were escorted by the police to secure hiding places due to fears for their safety.

When the Bill was passed open riot erupted and police confiscated bricks and other missiles which the pro-abortion mob planned to hurl at the legislators. Among such items confiscated were paint and other objects too obscene to bear repetition. Shocking billboards displaying more obscenity and anti-Christian blasphemy were carried by a screaming mob, chanting “Hail Satan!” This display of frustration and hatred was truly demonic. It is a case of spiritual warfare. We must offer thanks to God for this victory, but further prayers are needed. Pro-abortion agitators are calling for a court challenge. Death threats have been made against Gov Perry.

The legislation also requires stricter standards for abortuaries to bring them into line with hospitals and other medical facilities. As a result a majority of the abortion clinics in Texas will be forced to close.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said that other state and national politicians should make a similar stand against the barbarism of lateterm abortions.

Abortionist Kermit Gosnell is in prison serving a life sentence for multiple counts of infanticide and for causing the death of a patient in his filthy “house of horrors” abortuary. Much pro-life work remains to be done in expanding healing services for post-abortive women, and assisting crisis pregnancy centres to grow.The challenge is greater in Australia, as we lag way behind on the legislative front. Progress in America should serve as an inspiring model for us to overcome apathy and timidity.

Information in this article was derived from LifeSiteNews, LifeNews and other authentic sources.

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