by Steven Ertelt
April 27, 2006
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — California lawmakers on Tuesday defeated legislation that would have informed women considering an abortion that babies feel intense pain during the abortion procedure. The measure would have also provided women with the option of giving the baby anesthesia beforehand to lessen the pain.
Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, a Republican, presented her bill (AB 2512) to the Assembly Health Committee which, after a heated discussion, defeated the measure.
“It’s quite simply the humane thing to do,” Runner said about her bill, according to the California Chronicle. “I can’t understand why our government provides more protection to animals than to humans.”
Dubbed the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, the bill is modeled after legislation that has been considered by other states and in Congress.
It would give the information about fetal pain to women considering an abortion who are more than 20 weeks into the pregnancy. The bill creates a prepared statement the abortion practitioner would give the woman
“Rapists and murderers on death row are given several times the amount of barbiturates and anesthesia given to patients getting heart surgery,” Runner said. “I can’t understand why unborn children are given nothing.”
Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center says he and other specialists in development of unborn children have shown that babies feel pain before birth as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy.
Anand has said other medical studies conclude that unborn babies are "very likely" to be "extremely sensitive to pain during the gestation of 20 to 30 weeks."
An April 2004 Zogby poll shows that 77% of Americans back "laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion."
Only 16 percent disagreed with such a proposal, according to the poll.
Pro-life groups, including the California Pro-Life Council, supported Runner’s legislation. CPLC said abortion practitioners should be required to "offer pregnant woman information and counseling on fetal pain."