Pro-abortion actress Kathleen Turner ranted against the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in a piece for Cosmopolitan Friday, claiming pro-lifers are attacking women’s rights.
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed the U.S. House on Tuesday in a 237-189 vote. The bill would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies are capable of feeling pain. Twenty weeks also is very close to the point of viability.
Turner, known for her roles in “Romancing the Stone” and “Peggy Sue Got Married,” has been active in the pro-abortion movement for years. She said the legislation could erode Roe v. Wade.
Twenty-week abortion bans, which have been passed in states across the country, were designed to directly challenge one of the core concepts the Roe decision rested on. The landmark 1973 ruling made clear that women have a fundamental right to have an abortion until the point of fetal viability, or the time when a fetus could survive outside of the womb—which doctors have generally found to be 24 weeks or later.
Turner claimed the legislation is a “a full-fledged attack on women’s rights, without any regard for science, the Constitution, women’s lives, or basic decency.”
Abortion activists have been attacking the scientific evidence behind the bill, but there are strong, evidence-based indications that unborn babies can feel pain by 20 weeks, if not sooner.
Maureen Condic, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah, said unborn babies may feel pain as early as eight weeks of pregnancy.
“The neural circuitry responsible for the most primitive response to pain, the spinal reflex, is in place by 8 weeks of development,” she told Congress in 2013. “This is the earliest point at which the fetus experiences pain in any capacity.”
Unborn babies at 20 weeks react to painful stimuli, and their hormonal reactions are consistent with those of born human beings who feel pain, according to research.
Dr. Ray Paschall, an anesthesiology expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said surgical teams preparing to perform surgery on an unborn baby routinely administer anesthesia to the baby. Paschall said he is certain unborn babies can feel pain before viability (currently about 22-23 weeks).
Turner did not touch on the fact that the bill has strong public support. Polls consistently show that most people do not support what Roe v. Wade did: allow abortion for any reason up until birth.
According to the Susan B. Anthony List, “Nationwide polling by the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, Quinnipiac, National Journal, Huffington Post, NBC/Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post/ABC News has found that a plurality or majority of Americans support limiting abortion after five months, women in higher numbers than men.”
Because of Roe, the United States has some of the most radical pro-abortion laws in the world. The U.S. is one of only seven countries in the world that allow unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up until birth.
The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is a widely-supported, common sense measure that most Americans support. While pro-lifers still have work to do in helping people understand that unborn babies are valuable from the moment of conception, by 20 weeks, most people realize that an unborn baby is a living, unique human being who deserves to be protected under the law.