Bush Administration Can Focus on Pain Babies Feel During Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 22, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bush Administration Can Focus on Pain Babies Feel During Abortions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 22, 2004

New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — One of the three judges who is overseeing lawsuits filed by abortion advocates against the federal ban on partial-birth abortions has granted a request by the Bush administration to call a witness to discuss the pain unborn children feel during abortions.

U.S. District Judge Richard Casey, who will preside as the trial in the lawsuit begins on March 29, denied a motion filed by the National Abortion Federation and its allies blocking the Justice Department’s effort to have the testimony presented.

NAF, a trade association for abortion businesses, argued that the testimony was irrelevant to the case.

Casey said that Congress has found, through extensive hearings, that unborn children can feel pain during an abortion.

Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, who specializes in the care of critically ill newborns and children, is expected to testify that unborn children can feel pain in the womb as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

"Dr. Anand’s testimony will assist the court," Casey wrote in his opinion, "in assessing the reasonableness of Congress’ factual findings that partial-birth abortion is a ‘brutal and inhumane procedure’ and that ‘during the partial-birth abortion procedure, the child will fully experience the pain associated with piercing his or her skull and sucking out his or her brain.’"

Casey said the testimony is also allowable because of Anand’s expertise on the matter.

As a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Anand has spent 20 years studying the effects of anesthesia on pre-term and full-term newborn infants, including anesthetic drugs to women undergoing cesarean sections.

The victory follows another decision by Judge Casey, handed down late last week, refusing to rule the pro-life law unconstitutional without a trial.

Casey says a trial is needed to prove the contention made by NAF and abortion practitioner that signed on to its lawsuit who claim partial-birth abortions are necessary to protect a woman’s health.

Though Casey’s decision has no effect on the trials that will occur in San Francisco and Omaha relating to the two other lawsuits, they are being closely monitored.