Senator Says Fetal Pain-Abortion Study Flawed, Defends Pro-Life Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 26, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senator Says Fetal Pain-Abortion Study Flawed, Defends Pro-Life Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 26, 2005

Washington, DC ( — A leading U.S. senator who is the sponsor of a measure to help women considering a late-term abortion to understand that their baby will likely feel severe pain says a new study is biased. He’s condemning a new report that appears in the Journal of the AMA authored by an abortion practitioner and a former lawyer for NARAL.

Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, is the sponsor of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

Under Brownback’s measure, abortion practitioners must tell women considering an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy that the abortion procedure will cause significant pain for the unborn child.

Once told, the mother will have an option to allow the baby to receive anesthesia should she go ahead with the abortion.

The new study claims unborn children don’t feel pain until 28 weeks into the pregnancy, but Brownback says that’s inaccurate and that it "flies against practical sense."

"They’re saying 28 weeks. But you have premature babies delivered at 23 and 24 weeks and you wouldn’t dream of doing surgery on them without anesthesia," Brownback told the Topeka Capital Journal newspaper.

Brownback also said the study was biased because it was conducted by abortion advocates, including a woman who is a late-term abortion practitioner in San Francisco.

"I don’t trust just one study, particularly given the source of the authors of this study," Brownback added.

Brownback told the Topeka newspaper he would be willing to change the 20 week point at which women would be told the unborn child feels pain, but he said 28 weeks is not the right starting point.

"We know the child in the womb feels pain. Now the question is at what age," he said.

The bill is currently in a Senate committee and he says he expects it to get a hearing next year.