WASHINGTON, D.C. – Patrina Mosley, Director of Life, Culture, and Women’s Advocacy at Family Research Council, testified today before the Health and Government Operations Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates in support of House Bill 975, which would protect unborn children who can feel pain during an abortion.
Mosley offered the following testimony as she explained that a baby can feel pain early on in pregnancy and that it is standard medical practice to administer pain medication to infants during fetal surgery:
“As explained in one medical textbook, ‘Pain receptors appear around the mouth 4 to 5 weeks post-fertilization, followed by the development of nerve fibers, which carry stimuli to the brain. Around 6 weeks post-fertilization, the unborn child first responds to touch. By 18 weeks post-fertilization, pain receptors have appeared throughout the body.’ Contrary to those who focus only on one element of pain perception, there is a multiplicity of evidence that proves unborn children can feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization. This information has been applied in standard medical practice.
“Perinatal medicine now treats unborn babies as young as 18 weeks for dozens of conditions, and pain medication for unborn patients is routinely administered as standard medical practice. A review article titled ‘Anesthesia for fetal surgery’ in a journal on anesthesiology summarizes, ‘The current consensus is to provide fetal analgesia/anesthesia in a judicious and proper manner during painful interventions that trigger noxious fetal responses.’ Observations of fetal behavior and physiology have resulted in a clear consensus among professional anesthesiologists for the use of anesthesia in prenatal surgery.
“I hope ‘the state’s compelling interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain will propel a favorable report on House Bill 975,” concluded Mosley.