Minnesota Pro-Life Group Launches Billboard Campaign on Fetal Pain
by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
January 20, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Minnesota pro-lifers have launched a billboard campaign in an effort to stop the state’s propaganda efforts aimed at denying the existence of fetal pain.
"The people of Minnesota need to have information about fetal pain available to them, even if the facts disrupt the agenda of Governor (Tim) Pawlenty and the abortion industry," Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, said.
Pawlenty and Health Commission er Diane Mandernach have attempted to discount fetal pain on a state website and a brochure about abortion mandated by state lawmakers.
"Fetal pain is an established medical fact in unborn babies younger than 20 weeks gestation," Fischbach said at a news conference at the site of a 60-ft. MCCL billboard on I-94 near Monticello.
"Experts in the emerging field of in utero surgery and anesthesiology for unborn children have established that unborn babies feel pain as early as 13 weeks or younger," Fischbach added. Even doctors who are pro-abortion have recognized the existence of fetal pain.
For instance, Dr. David Birnbach, president of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology, said in testimony before Congress, "For fetal surgery…we need to administer anesthesia directly to the fetus, because even at these early (gestational) ages the fetus moves away from the pain of the stimulation."
Additional evidence comes from surgeons who have attempted to perform procedures on children in the womb. Doctors report that the babies flinch, jerk, and recoil from sharp objects and incisions.
"The neural pathways are present for pain to be experienced quite early by unborn babies," said Dr. Steven Calvin, perinatologists at the University of Minnesota Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
As a result, babies who are ripped apart limb by limb through dismemberment abortions would experience excruciating pain.
According to Minnesota’s Woman’s Right to Know law, which was passed by the state legislature in April, 2003, women considering abortion in Minnesota are supposed to be provided with information about fetal pain, the development of the unborn child, abortion risks and alternatives. The information is provided through the Woman’s Right to Know website and through a brochure.
But pro-lifers say the website has now been altered to indicate that fetal pain comes after 20 weeks gestation, rather than at 13 weeks.
It is critical that women know the truth about the pain caused by abortion, say pro-life activists. If women know that their children would experience pain as a result of the practice, they would be far less likely to abort their children.
For more information about abortion in Minnesota, you can visit the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life website at https://www.mccl.org. The organization is Minnesota’s oldest and largest pro-life group.