Judie Brown
Fetal pain, maternal suffering, or human rights?
By Judie Brown
June 30, 2010

In what can only be described as extremely dubious assertion, the United Kingdom's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists http://www.christian.org.uk/news/docs-claim-that-abortions-dont-hurt-unborn-babies/ is claiming that the preborn baby cannot feel pain until 24 weeks after his life begins. In the wake of this report, "the http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/06/25/uk-medical-group-says-fetus-feel-pain-weeks-need-change-abortion-law/ American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said it knows of no legitimate evidence that shows a fetus can experience pain."

If that were not enough to remind us of callous disregard for human beings, we also learned that a http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/real_life/3029012/Woman-who-had-an-abortion-because-of-morning-sickness.html 34-year-old mother in Britain and her husband, parents of a five-year-old child, aborted their second baby due to the mother's severe morning sickness.

Clearly, the preborn human person is losing ground throughout the world. It is happening at an ever-escalating rate. And no matter how much the pro-life movement persists, the culture of death forges ahead, making excuses for its deadly remedies.

Bernard Nathanson, M.D., knew this early on and documented the humanity of the preborn and his pain. In fact, the suffering experienced by an 11-week-old preborn during an abortion is documented in the film http://www.silentscream.org/ The Silent Scream. This film debuted more than 20 years ago for then-President Ronald Reagan and went on to international acclaim. To no avail, it would seem. American Life League has also documented http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10113 the undeniable fact that preborn children do indeed feel pain.

But is that really the point? Are pro-life citizens being distracted from the real question? Shouldn't we be redoubling our efforts to make sure that every one of those within our area of influence understands that each individual begins his life at his biological beginning?

When I read reports like those noted above, it becomes increasingly obvious that we are conversing with the uninformed on the wrong channel. It isn't about abortion. It's the human person and his human rights that should be the focus.

Think about the woman whose morning sickness drove her to pay to abort her child. What could possibly possess an expectant mother to resort to murder as a healing solution for her grave condition? As we learn in the story, unconcerned physicians who did not consider their moral obligation to both of their patients created the deadly dilemma in the first place. If this mother's pregnancy had not been viewed as a disease but rather as a natural event involving two patients, death for one would never have occurred.

The rare and debilitating condition this mother suffered from, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/pregnancy/hic_hyperemesis_gravidarum_severe_nausea_and_vomiting_during_pregnancy.aspx was never properly treated. Among the recommended therapies one should not find abortion. Indeed, Dr. Anthony Dardano, former chief of obstetrics and gynecology at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica, New York, explained the following: http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=595892&Forums=0&Experts=10&Days=14&Author=&Keyword=Nausea&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=2&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at=

    The condition [hyperemesis gravidarum] usually subsides after the first trimester; however in the refractory cases, treatment may continue throughout the pregnancy. It is important to note that the literature does not show that the babies delivered in these cases are subject to any serious consequences. Abortion, of course, is never permitted, no matter how serious the condition has become. The principle of double effect does not apply, as the abortion would be a direct, intentional act and therefore intrinsically evil. The condition is treatable and while the treatment may be prolonged, the outcome will be satisfactory.

    Having read the account of the case in England, I can't help but think that their national health plan recommended abortion as a cost-saving measure. Needless to say, I am thoroughly disappointed in any system which would allow such a practice. This sad case re-emphasizes what I have felt all along: We all need more prayer to correct this problem, and the general public needs more education on ethical issues such as these.

Human rights have been dismissed as irrelevant to the second person in a pregnancy — the preborn child. The fact that every person is of equal value, regardless of fetal pain or maternal sickness, is an argument that falls flat among those who see abortion as therapy, those who see medical abortion as an easy alternative, or those who see abortion via abortifacient contraceptives as convenient — or deniable.

The solution is clear. Human rights must be our focus. The right to have one's life protected by law is the most fundamental human right that exists. It starts with recognizing every person from his biological beginning as an equal member of society.

Does fetal pain matter? Does excruciating maternal suffering matter? Or do human rights for one and all — without exception — matter much more?

© Judie Brown


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president and co-founder of American Life League, the nation's largest grassroots pro-life educational organization... (more)


Receive future articles by Judie Brown: Click here

More by this author


Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
FLASHBACK to 2020: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Pete Riehm
Gloom and grift versus good and great

Cliff Kincaid
Honor victims of the U.S. government on Memorial Day

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 20: In their own words: The sexual revolution begins in Kindergarten

Jim Wagner
Islam for Dhimmis—Part I

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Repeating history: Medicinal whiskey’s echoes in medical marijuana policy

Randy Engel
A documentary: Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbus – The anatomy of a takeover bid, Part VI

Jerry Newcombe
Electoral College dropout?

Curtis Dahlgren
The "Hand of History" writes its own reply to arrogance

Pete Riehm
Our fallen fought not just for freedom but truth

Linda Kimball
Christendom and Protestant America’s apostasy into paganism: A timeline

Jim Wagner
Why the Left loves Allah

Randy Engel
A Documentary: Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbus – The anatomy of a takeover bid, Part V
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons


Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites