'Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act' Introduced in Congress

Pro-family groups applauded the introduction of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act in Congress, Wednesday, calling it a sign that shows the growing awareness and concern among Americans for unborn children.

“The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act reflects the growing knowledge and concern among Americans for unborn children,” said Wendy Wright, Concerned Women for America (CWA)’s senior policy director.”

If passed, the legislation, introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), will require abortionists to notify their patients that unborn babies experience severe pain when aborted. The bill, which applies to women who are seeking abortion at least 20 weeks after fertilization, would also require abortionists to offer anesthesia to their patients for their unborn child before commencing with the procedure.

Pro-abortionists have criticized the bill as being political rather than factual.

"There is a great deal of debate in the medical community about this issue and what is contained in this bill is based on speculation and inference," said Bobbie Kierstead, with Planned Parenthood Nebraska.

"There is no agreement in the scientific community," she insisted to AP. "In fact, there have been several court cases that touched on this. And what the courts have found is that there is no scientific agreement."

However, pro-life groups disagreed, saying medical studies and court testimonies show unborn babies are “very likely” to be extremely sensitive to pain.

During a trial challenging the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand testified: that unborn children are likely to be “extremely sensitive to pain during the gestation of 20 to 30 weeks.”

“This is based on multiple lines of evidence. Not just the lack of descending inhibitory fibers, but also the number of receptors in the skin, the level of expression of various chemicals, neurotransmitters, receptors, and things like that,” said Annand.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC) agreed that scientific evidence proves the unborn child feels pain.

"We cannot deny the medical evidence now before us. From testimony taken during the recent partial-birth abortion hearings and advancements in the field of in utero technology, we now know that the unborn child experiences excruciating pain when he or she is aborted,” said Perkins.

Perkins also said women have the right to know the truth before making their decision to kill their unborn child.

"Women have the right to know what happens when they have an abortion and they have a right to know the pain their unborn child will experience during an abortion. Anyone who would deny a woman such information is hardly a defender of women's rights,” said Perkins. “Those who oppose this legislation show that their true allegiance is to the 'abortion on demand' agenda - not women.”

CWA’s Wright agreed.

“Women have a right to know what an abortion actually is, and what her baby will experience. It satisfies nothing to subject a baby already unjustly sentenced to death to excruciating pain – more than you or I could endure,” said Wright. “Every unborn baby deserves to be treated with respect, but until that day when constitutional rights are applied to every human, we should at the least do what we can to lessen the pain the baby endures.”

The bill, introduced in the 109th Congress on Wednesday, has gained the support of 32 co-signers.