Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
It was in doing research for my articles that I first discovered a bill, a law, or an act, of this kind, had ever been fought for before. Unfortunately, this is not the first of them. I found similar legislation, albeit never passed, dating all the way back to 1973. Without coincidence, 1973 was also the year Roe vs. Wade was decided, legalizing abortion.
New Jersey Republican Chris Smith sponsors this Bill, and at the time of this writing had eighty five co-sponsors. The bill has been referred to The House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Study after study has been conducted to determine the age of gestation at which a fetus feels pain. Whether, a fetus in fact is capable of feeling pain, at any age gestation, is still undecided. Some researchers believe fetuses stay in a naturally sedated state that keeps them free of any in pain while in the womb.
Currently the main factor with regard to abortion and fetal age is viability. This means whether or not a fetus has a good chance of living outside the mother’s womb. However, there is huge controversy over, at what week, a fetus becomes ‘”viable’’. With constant changes in technology, raising the statistics on a fetus’ chances of survival, there may never be a definitive answer.
A recent British study, by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists brought to light the possibility that a fetus cannot feel pain, until the very earliest, at twenty four weeks, if at all.
The researchers focused specifically on the twenty four week gestation for their study, based on Britain’s legal abortion limit of twenty four weeks.
I do not take issue with the studies. I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. The better informed one is, the better the decision they can make, essentially.
The problem I have is with the bill. It is cleverly disguised, to be considered another factor in a women’s decision to continue a pregnancy or not. The disguise is that it is meant specifically, to inform a woman seeking an abortion, that the fetus she is carrying may be able to feel pain.
For many pro-choice advocates including me it is another anti abortion tactic, available for the use of coercing a woman away from having an abortion. Like mandated pre-abortion ultrasounds, it is only required once a woman has already made her decision.
Why is it that the bullies behind these bills, are not asking that this measure be a requirement for all women upon confirmation of pregnancy? It is not knowledge they want to provide you. It is a one size fits all way of thinking, and blatant coercion.
Coercion in any form is a human rights violation. We cannot allow bills of human rights violations to become law. To find out more, and let your voice be heard, I have included links below.