by Steven Ertelt
November 2, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — While most of Washington is focused on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito or other political issues, members of a House committee on Tuesday held a hearing on legislation regarding the pain unborn children feel during abortions.
Rep Steve Chabot, a pro-life Republican, chaired the meeting of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution that examined the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.
"This would require that a woman who is ready to have an abortion, that she is provided with information telling her about the pain that the unborn baby will feel," he said.
"Until we can get a Supreme Court that is willing to look at this issue and reverse Roe v Wade, there are other things that we can do to help protect unborn, innocent life in this country and this bill is one of those things," Chabot added.
According to a Family News in Focus report, St. Thomas School of Law professor Teresa Collett was one of the experts who testified during the proceedings.
"The American medical community is really behind the times on the research in this area, and in large part it’s because the political debate has so dominated science," she explained.
Because of that reason, pro-life Florida Congressman Dave Weldon says Congress needs to get involved.
The legislation requires abortion practitioners to make women considering an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy aware that it would cause significant pain for the unborn child. A mother is also told anesthesia can be administered to the baby prior to the abortion to decrease pain. The idea is to help women consider alternatives to abortion.
Neurologist Dr. Paul Ranalli of the University of Toronto says the 20-30 week child in the womb may even feel more pain than an adult. He adds that the "pain impulse connections in the spinal cord link up and reach the thalamus (the brain’s reception center): at 7-20 weeks."
Pro-life groups applauded lawmakers for holding the hearing.
"Not only do unborn children feel pain, the evidence suggests they feel pain more acutely than at any other stage of life," said Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America’s Executive Vice President. "The Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment for the guilty; we should not have a lesser standard for the innocent.