The scientific evidence for fetal pain after twenty weeks is overwhelming but the media is happy to assure us of junk science.
You have to enjoy the irony. The same people who assure us that a man is “really” a woman and vice versa are also happy to report that only weird “anti-abortion advocates” believe that a fetus suffers pain while being ripped apart in an abortion.
The Blaze has published a truly devastating piece by James Agresti, the president of Just Facts: “Media Promotes Junk Science on Fetal Pain.”
Agresti is too nice to put it this way, but he shows how journalists work as prostitutes for the abortion industry while pretending to be referees on the abortion debate. The junk science they promote is what the abortion-promoters wish were true, while the objective medical science is treated like pro-life propaganda.
You should know something is up when you hear that pro-lifers are claiming that a fetus can feel pain at twenty weeks. The term “pro-lifer” typically refers to a person who believes that human life begins at conception and therefore should be protected by law from that point onward. If pro-lifers were making stuff up, they would assert pain is felt before twenty weeks.
Here’s Agresti’s summary:
- By 7 weeks, pain “sensory receptors appear in the perioral [mouth] area.” – New England Journal of Medicine
- By 10 weeks, “All components of the brain and spinal cord are formed, and nerves link the stem of the brain and the spinal cord to all tissues and organs of the body.” – Encyclopedia of Human Biology
- By 14 weeks, preborn humans exhibit conscious “motor planning” and “social behavior.” – PLoS ONE
- By 14 weeks, “pain transmission from a peripheral [pain] receptor to the cortex is possible and completely developed” by 24 weeks. – Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy
- Development of the brain cortex is not necessary for “consciousness,” awareness,” or the “perception” of noxious stimuli (i.e., pain). – Pain: Clinical Updates and Behavioral and Brain Sciences
- By 14 to 22 weeks, “a physiological fetal reaction to painful stimuli” occurs. – Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy
- By 18 weeks, pain sensory receptors spread to “all cutaneous [skin] and mucous surfaces.” – New England Journal of Medicine
- By 18 to 20 weeks, the human fetus “elaborates pituitary-adrenal, sympatho-adrenal, and circulatory stress responses to physical insults.” – Anesthesiology
- By 20 weeks, the fetus “now sleeps and wakes and hears sounds.” – American Medical Association Complete Medical Encyclopedia
On the other hand, David Levitan’s article claiming to debunk fetal pain at FactCheck.org, ignored the science altogether (by pretending it came from pro-lifers rather than from respected sources) and used abortion propaganda:
The facts that Levitan downplayed, ignored, and dismissed were published in medical venues for clinical purposes. In contrast, all three of Levitan’s preferred sources explicitly state that they were written in the context of abortion politics. Moreover:
- Susan J. Lee, the lead author of the paper cited by Levitan, worked as a lawyer for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America.
- Eleanor A. Drey, another author of this paper, is the medical director of an abortion clinic.
- Mark Rosen, another author of this paper, previously worked in an abortion clinic.
- Stuart Derbyshire, an author of the analysis cited by Levitan, “served as an unpaid consultant for Planned Parenthood of Virginia, USA and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, USA, and for the Pro-Choice Forum, United Kingdom.”
- James Trussell, a peer reviewer of this analysis, is “a member of the National Medical Committee of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and a member of the board of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Society of Family Planning.”
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the source of statement cited by Levitan, has a track record of consistently opposing pro-life legislation and was caught modifying its clinical findings on partial-birth abortion at the behest of a Clinton White House lawyer.
Levitan failed to reveal any of this, while he simultaneously placed objective facts from medical textbooks and journals into the mouths of pro-lifers.
Agresti also exposes junk science in the Washington Post and the New York Times, and how these newspapers violate their own (purported) code of ethics.
Agresti is well worth reading on the issue of fetal pain, but you can’t help but apply his findings to a wider issue. If people are so willing to pump out junk science to make sure that torturing babies to death remains legal, what else are they capable of. Lying about gender? Lying about climate?
There is nothing that seems beyond the realm of possibility if these people are so cruel to children and so willing to deceive.