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https://i0.wp.com/secularprolife.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/abortioninstruments.jpg?fit=320%2C312&ssl=1 312 320 Monica Snyder https://secularprolife.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/SecularProlife2.png Monica Snyder2012-08-03 12:05:002021-11-08 12:41:10Fetal Pain & Arizona
I have no perspective on the subject of fetal pain because I’ve never looked into it myself. I’ve never looked into it because fetal pain does not affect my position on abortion. Even if we were certain fetuses felt no pain during abortion, I would still find abortion unethical and would seek to see it legally restricted. There are, after all, already-born humans with congenital insensitivity to pain; it is still unethical to kill them. (Plus, frankly, I’m still a bit researched-out after exploring the alleged abortion-breast cancer link.)
However, the idea of fetal pain does affect policy. Arizona has created a ban on most abortions beginning at 20-weeks gestation under the theory that this is when the fetus begins to feel pain. Just this week US District Judge James Tellborg upheld the ban only to have it temporarily prohibited by a federal appeals court days later. Banning abortion at 20 weeks gestation is a relatively new approach, starting with Nebraska’s ban in 2010. Arizona is now one of 10 states to attempt this type of legislation.
I’m interested to hear more about the rationale for these bans. If it is legal to kill a fetus after 20-weeks gestation unless the fetus can feel pain, could doctors simply anesthetize the fetus and then continue? Or is the ability to feel pain meant to imply that the fetus is now a “person”?
I know this subject tends to revolve around whether the fetus can feel pain at a certain point, but I’m still stuck on “Why does that matter?” Why would a human’s inability to feel pain imply less moral worth or legal consideration?