by Steven Ertelt
January 23, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life lawmaker has reintroduced legislation that would require abortion practitioners to tell women considering an abortion that their unborn child may experience significant pain during the procedure.
Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican who is running for president, reintroduced the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, which requires the pain information be given to women contemplating an abortion 20 weeks after fertilization.
“It is a scientific, medical fact that unborn children feel pain,” Brownback said in a statement provided to LifeNews.com.
“We know that unborn children can experience pain based upon anatomical, functional, physiological and behavioral indicators that are correlated with pain in children and adults," Brownback added. "Mothers seeking an abortion have the right to know that their unborn children can feel pain.”
The bill also includes a provision allowing women to ask for anesthesia for the baby so she doesn’t suffer any pain during an abortion.
The House of Representatives voted last month on a similar bill and approved it on a 250-162 vote. However, the measure was brought up under special rules requiring a two-thirds vote and, as a result, the bill was not sent to the Senate for its consideration.
With abortion advocates now in control of Congress bills like Brownback’s may not get a hearing or a debate and vote.
Experts on the development of unborn children say that pain during an abortion is likely, especially during latter parts of pregnancy.
Dr. Jean Wright, Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at the Mercer School of Medicine, previously told Congress that premature infants born after 23 to 26 weeks of pregnancy feel intense pain when blood is drawn from them.
"We roll back the sheets or the blanket, and you would look to the facial expression, their response to the heel stick, and you would understand," she said. "You would not need a congressional hearing to figure out whether that infant feels pain."
Pro-life groups strongly support the legislation as looking out for the interests of unborn children and also helping to reduce the number of abortions by providing women another reason not to have one.
"We hope that women will have compassion on their child when they learn their baby will experience extreme pain and choose instead for their baby to feel the loving touch of an embrace," Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright says of the bill.
President Bush has promised to sign the measure into law should Congress approve it.