A “pro-choice” scientist is urging the medical community to put politics aside and consider growing evidence that unborn babies may feel pain as early as 12 weeks of pregnancy.
In a January article in the “Journal of Medical Ethics,” Stuart Derbyshire, a professor at the National University of Singapore and expert in the science of pain, said the issue deserves further consideration.
Pro-life advocates have been pointing to the evidence of early fetal pain for years, with the hopes of persuading the public to recognize the cruelty of abortion. However, abortion activists and pro-abortion researchers routinely dismiss the scientific evidence with dubious claims that unborn babies do not feel pain until at least 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Derbyshire and co-author John Bockmann said there now is “good evidence” that unborn babies’ brains and nervous systems are developed enough to experience pain prior to 24 weeks. The UK and many U.S. states allow unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to 24 weeks.
Their research paper pointed to new studies that indicate unborn babies may feel “something like pain” by just 12 weeks of pregnancy. And if unborn babies can feel pain, they certainly would experience pain during an abortion.
A “balanced reading” of the evidence “points towards an immediate and unreflective pain experience mediated by the developing function of the nervous system from as early as 12 weeks,” they concluded. “The two authors came together to write this paper through a shared sense that the neuroscientific data, especially more recent data, could not support a categorical rejection of fetal pain.”
Here’s more from the Daily Mail:
Specifically, it has been thought that the cortex, the outer brain layer that deals with sensory information, is not developed enough for pain to register.
As a result, ‘many medical bodies… state that pain is not possible before 24 weeks’ gestation’. However, recent studies clearly show ‘that the consensus is no longer valid’, they argue.
One study found an adult with an extensively damaged cortex could still feel pain.
The two medics say their own ‘stark differences’ on the morality of abortion ‘should not interfere with discussion of whether foetal pain is possible’.
Given recent advances in understanding, ‘acting as if we have certainty’ that foetuses cannot feel pain before 24 weeks ‘flirts with a moral recklessness that we are motivated to avoid’.
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They said abortion providers and pregnant women should take fetal pain into serious consideration and consider fetal “analgesia,” or pain relief, for the unborn baby who is being aborted.
Their research adds further validity to the work of the pro-life movement. Abortions are cruel, painful procedures that kill unique, living unborn babies. In the second trimester, when strong evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain, the most common abortion method is dismemberment. This means every year, tens of thousands of unborn babies may be suffering excruciating pain as they are being torn apart limb from limb in their mothers’ wombs.
Significantly, Derbyshire is “pro-choice” on abortion, according to the Mail. He has been a consultant for several pro-abortion groups, including the Pro-Choice Forum in the UK and Planned Parenthood in the U.S., the report states.
Back in 2006, he even argued against telling women about fetal pain prior to their abortions due to the lack of evidence, according to the Mail. Writing in the “British Medical Journal,” he said there was “good evidence that foetuses cannot experience pain.”
Based on the new research, however, Derbyshire’s thinking appears to have changed. And the evidence certainly is growing. LifeNews has reported numerous times about research indicating that unborn babies feel pain when they are killed in abortions.
In 2016, Dr. Colleen A. Malloy, a professor of neonatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told a U.S. Senate committee that “anesthesiologists, and surgeons use pain medication” at the 20 week stage, “because it’s supported by the literature completely.”
Further research showed that hormone levels in unborn babies decrease when pain-relievers are supplied, LifeNews previously reported.