H.B. 954 Unborn Babies Feel Pain, Too!
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, March 23, 2012
By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Good morning, Jim. State Representative Doug McKillip has been in the General Assembly since 2007. This year he said, “I became a Christian in 2009. You start reading the Bible and you realize life begins at conception.” That was on February 9th, the same day he introduced H.B. 954, the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”
The title was chosen because scientific research has proven that unborn babies DO feel pain. Specialized nerve endings used in transmitting pain are seen at seven weeks after fertilization and are throughout the baby’s organs by the 20th week of gestation. During surgery on unborn babies in the womb, a 19/20-week old fetus flinches or jerks and recoils from sharp objects and incisions. So, anesthesia is routinely given unborn babies before corrective surgery begins. You might remember the AJC’s front-page picture of Baby Samuel clutching the doctor’s finger from a slit in his mother’s womb at 21 weeks after fertilization.
Pro-abortion researchers try to claim that preborn children cannot feel pain until later in the pregnancy, when nerves reach the cerebral cortex. But since 2007, medical research has shown that those connections are NOT essential for a preborn child to experience pain. At 20 weeks gestation or earlier, pain receptors appear throughout the body, but the ability to regulate or lessen pain won’t develop until after the baby is born. That means unborn babies, actually, feel pain more intensely than newborns or older children and adults.
The most recent survey on fetal pain estimates that 18,000 of the 1.2 million abortions performed every year in the United States are done at 19 weeks or more after fertilization. In 2009, 1,000 babies were aborted in Georgia at or after 19 weeks from fertilization. That’s 4 percent of the total abortions performed in Georgia in 2009.
H.B. 954 would allow abortions that are necessary to save the life of the mother or to prevent serious risk of substantial permanent physical impairment of a major body function, but would prohibit abortions 20 weeks after fertilization.
H.B. 954 passed the House February 29th and is in Senator Balfour’s Rules Committee. Please call 404 656-0095* and ask him to pass it out of his committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote. For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.