Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Support Passage of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act

It might be easier not to think that these children have great pain, but if we cannot stop the action, it is only right to do something for the pain induced. What type of monsters are we in the name of convenience and the desire not to acknowledge the reality of their humaness to subject babies to the pain of dismemberment? Think about it. Wanting to hide from the reality doesn't make it any less real.

If you don't know what a D&C abortion does to an older fetus, I ask you to look at this chart and think about what it would mean in terms of pain.

UPDATED NOVEMBER 19, 2004 -- You can help build momentum in Congress for an important pro-life bill, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, by urging your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives to cosponsor the bill immediately.

On May 20, 2004, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), with the strong backing of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), introduced a the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act in the House (H.R. 4420). Senator Sam Brownback (R-Ks.) introduced the bill in the Senate (S. 2466).

This bill would require every abortionist to provide, whenever a woman seeks an abortion past 20 weeks after fertilization, specified information about the capacity of her unborn child to experience pain during the abortion. After that, the woman must either accept or refuse (by signing a form) the administration of pain-reducing drugs directly to the unborn child. The bill would apply to all abortions past 20 weeks, regardless of the method used, including partial-birth abortion and dismemberment ("D&E") abortion.

The bill contains a number of proposed congressional findings regarding the scientific evidence that unborn children would experience great pain during abortions at 20 weeks (and perhaps earlier). The findings also cite a number of existing federal laws that seek to diminish the suffering even of animals, such as restrictions on how livestock can be slaughtered and restrictions on the use of animals in medical research.

Earlier this year, in a legal challenge by the National Abortion Federation to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York heard testimony on the question of whether partial-birth abortion causes pain to the premature infants who are subjected to that method. After hearing pertinent expert testimony under oath from both sides, on August 26, 2004, U.S. District Judge Richard C. Casey made certain formal "findings of fact," including these:

"The Court finds that the testimony at trial and before Congress establishes that D&X [partial-birth abortion] is a gruesome, brutal, barbaric, and uncivilized medical procedure. Dr. Anand's testimony, which went unrebutted by Plaintiffs, is credible evidence that D&X abortions subject fetuses to severe pain. Notwithstanding this evidence, some of Plaintiffs' experts testified that fetal pain does not concern them, and that some do not convey to their patients that their fetuses may undergo severe pain during a D&X."

On September 1, 2004, National Right to Life sent a letter to members of Congress citing Judge Casey's findings and urging them to cosponsor the bill. You can view an always-current listing of House cosponsors, arranged by state, by clicking here, and an always-current list of Senate cosponsors by clicking here.

In a Zogby poll conducted in November 2004, the public supported "laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion" by a 75-18 percent margin.

For the full text of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act and additional documentation on the pain inflicted on unborn children by abortion, see the section of the NRLC website on The Pain of the Unborn Child. You can download a two-page factsheet summarizing some of the scientific evidence that unborn babies feel pain by clicking here (PDF file).

Source: National Right To Life

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