Since Roe v. Wade, technology has changed our understanding of preborn life, and we need to face the truth on this issue: unborn children do feel pain. Science and medicine have no issue acknowledging this. While some preborn children are administered anesthesia during necessary surgery in utero, others have their limbs ripped from their bodies in a late-term dismemberment abortion with no anesthesia or regard for suffering.
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, sponsored by Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). CWALAC CEO and President, Penny Nance, spoke at the press conference following. This bill would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks nationwide based on the scientific fact that unborn children at this stage in development feel pain.
Chairman Graham, in his opening remarks, stated: “I don’t believe abortion five months into a pregnancy makes us a better nation. America is at her best when we stand for the least amongst us.” Penny noted in the press conference afterwards that “this legislation is long overdue, this is a human rights issue.” The United States is only one of seven countries in the world that allow abortion past 20 weeks; this includes Vietnam, China, and North Korea — not exactly the company we want to keep on human rights issues.
Dr. Donna Harrison, the Executive Director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, testified before the committee and shared a scientific and medical perspective: “It is scientific fact that 20-week babies are very sensitive to pain. They react the same way that you do. They withdraw from painful stimuli, they release stress hormones, their heart rate increases, and their breathing increases. These are measurable changes under pain.”
Melissa Ohden, founder of The Abortion Survivors Network, shared the details of the failed abortion performed on her when she was 31 weeks old. She very poignantly stated that “abortion doesn’t spare a child from suffering; it causes suffering.” She continued:
There should be no question that every child should be spared from the excruciating pain of an abortion procedure like I was subjected to. The question that does remain, however, is what you will do in the face of this reality about life and abortion in our nation. I’m here today to ask you, will you commit to preventing what happened to me from happening to other children? Every child deserves better than to suffer the pain of an abortion.
Unfortunately, Melissa’s story is not unique. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act seeks to right an injustice of gratuitous pain inflicted on innocent children. Pain is considered the 5th vital sign, and medical professionals are taught to treat a patient’s self-described pain. Unborn children destined for abortion are not granted this privilege. Recipients of a common late-term abortion procedure, a saline abortion, can be felt thrashing around in their mother’s bodies, likely from the painful burns a saline abortion inflicts.
Penny concluded her remarks by accurately stating, “this is the least we can do, this is a commonsense step the vast majority of Americans agree on.” In light of New York and Virginia’s radical abortion bills, support for late-term abortion nationwide has declined. A February 2019 Marist poll shows that a whopping 80% of Americans support abortion being limited to the first three months (12 weeks) of gestation — an increase of 5% since a January Marist poll on the same topic. This includes 64% of Democrats. America is waking up to the extreme abortion agenda, and it is time for Congress to listen.