Reconsidering Fetal Pain 

Denying pain capacity in utero is no longer medically supportable.


John Stonestreet

Kasey Leander

Abortion advocates are often dismissive on the question of fetal pain, but a recent article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics brought together pro-abortion and pro-life experts to clarify what we know about what the preborn feel:

We consider the possibility that the mere experience of pain, without the capacity for self-reflection, is morally significant. We believe that fetal pain does not have to be equivalent to a mature adult human experience to matter morally.  

According to research, preborn babies as early as 7.5 weeks will move to avoid unpleasant sensations, emit stress hormones, and experience an increase in heart rate and cerebral blood flow. As bioethicist Dr. Bridget Thrill concluded, “Denial of fetal pain capacity beginning in the first trimester, potentially as early as 8–12 weeks gestation, is no longer tenable.”  

Babies have also been observed attempting to escape procedures designed to kill them. We always should have known better, but we can’t say we don’t know anymore. 


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