New research from a pro-Planned Parenthood scientist reveals unborn babies can feel pain as early as 13 weeks into development.
Medical experts have long claimed unborn babies cannot feel pain until late into the second trimester, or 24 weeks into pregnancy. But two medical researchers — British professor Stuart Derbyshire, who has consulted for Planned Parenthood, and American Dr. John Bockmann — now believe unborn babies feel “something like pain” as early as 13 weeks into development.
So confident about their findings, both Bockmann and Derbyshire believe women considering abortion at this stage of pregnancy should be told their unborn children could feel pain while being terminated, according to the Daily Mail. To move forward without allowing this new information to impact the way we discuss the issue of abortion, the experts said, “flirts with moral recklessness.”
In 2006, Derbyshire wrote in the British Medical Journal that avoiding talking to pregnant women considering abortion about potential pain to their unborn infants was “sound policy based on good evidence that fetuses cannot experience pain.” That, however, is no longer the case.
There is now, the study’s lead researcher indicated, “good evidence” to suggest the brain and nervous systems are developed enough for an unborn child to feel pain very early in development.
“Given the evidence that the fetus might be able to experience something like pain during later abortions, it seems reasonable that the clinical team and the pregnant woman are encouraged to consider fetal analgesia [pain relief],” the men argued.
After reading the newly minted research, pro-life advocate Lila Rose, founder of the anti-abortion group Live Action, said it’s “time to completely eradicate” abortion.
Additionally, Dr. Anthony McCarthy of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children told the Daily Mail, “A society that claims to take seriously animal pain should not shrink from confronting pain inflicted on young human beings in the name of ‘choice.’”
“Making death painless for the one killed does not, however, mean that taking life is thereby justified,” he added.
The findings of the research conducted by Derbyshire and Bockmann is significant, as later-term abortions (up to 24 weeks into pregnancy) is often defended on the grounds that unborn babies do not feel pain until the latter part of the second trimester. If the information revealed by this new study is corroborated, the findings could lead to increased restrictions on abortion.