Women for Faith & Family -
THE UNBORN CHILD PAIN AWARENESS ACT
May 25, 2004
Women for Faith & Family join many thousands of Americans in endorsing the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, introduced by Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) on May 20. It is an Act of mercy. It acknowledges the expert testimony that has affirmed what every woman who has given birth knows from personal experience: that long before her child's birth -- from the time the mother first "feels life" -- the human being she carries responds physically (and palpably) to many external stimuli. It is not possible to exclude, deny, or to ignore the child's direct experience of pain -- whether from therapeutic surgery or from abortion.
The extensive scientific research evoked in the testimony of the experts (in connection with the Partial-Birth Abortion BAN investigations) has established beyond any doubt that an unborn child responds intensely to pain, especially--but not exclusively--during the last half of its development in utero. The child's response is, if anything, more intense than the response of an adult because the infant in the womb lacks the nerve wrappings and acquired psychological defenses that mitigate pain for adults. The mother has a right to full and clear information on the existence and severity this pain, and the state has the obligation to secure and defend this right.
To administer anesthetic to alleviate the suffering of a child who is about to experience dismemberment and death may be the only humane gesture that our society, which permits abortion at the choice of its mother, is now able
to extend to that fellow human being. Minimal though this gesture of humanity may be, we must not fail to make it.
-- Women for Faith & Family
Women for Faith & Family represents about 50,000 Catholic women who affirm the teachings of the Church on all "life issues"
Contact: Helen Hull Hitchcock
Women for Faith & Family
PO Box 300411, St. Louis, MO 63130
Ph: 314-863-8385; Fax: 314-863-5858
E-mail: [email protected]
Statements by Senator Sam Brownback;
Senator Rick Santorum; Senator John Ashcroft
Statement by Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas)
From the Congressional Record, May 20, 2004, pages S5985-86
S. 2466. A bill to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child ; to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. [Introduced] by Mr. BROWNBACK (for himself, Mr. ALEXANDER, Mr. BUNNING, Mr. BURNS, Mr. COLEMAN, Mr. CRAPO, Mr. DEWINE, Mr. ENSIGN, Mr. ENZI, Mr. FITZGERALD, Mr. GRAHAM of South Carolina, Mr. GRASSLEY, Mr. HATCH, Mr. KYL, Mr. MCCONNELL, Mr. MILLER, Mr. NICKLES, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. SANTORUM, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. SHELBY, Mr. TALENT, Mr. CHAMBLISS, and Mr. INHOFE).
Mr. BROWNBACK: Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the bipartisan Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, and I am joined by 22 original cosponsors.
Unborn children can experience pain , and they can certainly respond to touch from outside the womb. Any woman who has been blessed with carrying a baby in the second trimester can tell you this.
I remember my own children kicking and squirming inside of my wife's womb. And my wife certainly remembers feeling their kicks. That unborn child is very much alive. All along, women have been able to feel the child inside of them, but now, science is telling us what the child inside of his or her mother can feel.
Many among us are unaware of the scientific, medical fact that unborn children can feel, but it is true. Not only can they feel, but their ability to experience pain is heightened. The highest density of pain receptors per
square inch of skin in human development occurs in utero from 20 to 30 weeks gestation.
An expert report on fetal development, prepared for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban trials, notes that while unborn children are obviously incapable of verbal expressions, we know that they can experience pain based upon anatomical, functional, physiological and behavioral indicators that are correlated with pain in children and adults.
Unborn children can experience pain . This is why unborn children are often administered anesthesia during in utero surgeries.
Think about the pain that unborn children can experience, and then think about the more gruesome abortion procedures. Of course, we have heard about Partial Birth Abortion, but also consider the D&E abortion. During this procedure, commonly performed after 20-weeks -- when there is medical evidence that the child can experience severe pain -- the child is torn apart limb from limb. Think about how that must feel to a young human.
We would never allow a dog to be treated this way. Yet, the creature we are talking about is a young, unborn child
Fortunately, the issue of pain experienced by unborn children has been covered by the news media during the ongoing Partial Birth Abortion Ban trials. Take for instance an April 7, 2004 Associated Press news article covering the trials. And I quote: "A type of abortion banned under a new federal law would cause `severe and excruciating' pain to 20-week-old fetuses, a medical expert testified yesterday ..... `I believe the fetus is conscious,' said Dr. Kanwaljeet `Sonny' Anand, a pediatrician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences ..... said yesterday that fetuses show increased heart rate, blood flow, and hormone levels in response to pain . `The physiological responses have been very clearly studied,' he said. `The fetus cannot talk ..... so this is the best evidence we can get.''
Today I introduce a bill that would require those who perform abortions on unborn children 20 weeks after fertilization to inform the woman seeking an abortion of the medical evidence that the unborn child feels pain : (a.)
Through a verbal statement given by the abortion provider, and also (b.) by providing a brochure--developed by the Department of Health and Human Services--that goes into more detail than the verbal statement on the
medical evidence of pain experienced by an unborn child 20 weeks after fertilization.
The bill would also ensure that the woman, if she chooses to continue with the abortion procedure after being given the medical information, has the option of choosing anesthesia for the child , so that the unborn child's
pain is less severe.
Women should not be kept in the dark; women have the right to know what their unborn child experiences during an abortion. After being presented with the medical and scientific information on the development of the unborn
child 20 weeks after fertilization, the woman is more aware of the pain experienced by the child during an abortion procedure, and able -- at the very least -- to make an informed decision. It is simply not fair to keep women in the dark.
Unborn children do not have a voice, but they are young members of the human family. It is time to look at the unborn child , and recognize that it is really a young human, who can feel pain and should be treated with care.
I urge my colleagues to support and pass this important piece of legislation.
Press Release of Senator Santorum
SENATOR SANTORUM COSPONSORS LEGISLATION TO INFORM WOMEN OF PAIN TO CHILD
BEFORE ABORTION PERFORMED
Contact: Christine Shott, (202) 224-0610
Friday, May 21, 2004
Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, cosponsored legislation that would require abortion providers to inform a woman seeking an abortion about the evidence of fetal pain. Evidence an unborn child experiences pain as a result of an abortion procedure at twenty weeks gestation was presented in expert witness testimony during the recent Partial-Birth Abortion Ban trials in California, Nebraska and New York.
Senator Santorum is a cosponsor of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2004, introduced yesterday by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS).
This legislation requires a woman be verbally informed, before the procedure is performed, of the medical evidence that the child will feel pain during the abortion. The abortion provider must also provide a brochure, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which details the medical evidence of pain and ensures that the woman, should she choose to have the abortion, has the option of choosing anesthesia for the child so that the pain is less severe.
Medical and scientific facts confirm that at twenty weeks, a child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain and that these children react to stimuli in a way that indicates pain. Medical science is capable of
reducing that pain through the administration of pain-reducing drugs directly to the unborn child. Anesthesia is routinely administered to unborn children 20 weeks or older who undergo fetal surgery.
"During a late-term abortion, surgical tools and instruments are used to manipulate and forcibly extract the unborn child from the uterus," said Senator Santorum. "Medical evidence shows that the unborn child experiences
excruciating pain. This legislation offers a woman contemplating an abortion the opportunity to prevent her unborn child from experiencing pain unnecessarily."
Expert testimony offered during the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban trials by Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, a pediatrician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, confirmed that there is a higher density of pain receptors
per square inch of skin in human development in utero from 20-30 weeks gestation. Therefore, when subjected to this kind of injury or manipulation, a fetus at 20-30 weeks could experience a much more intense pain than older
infants or children or even adults. A recent Zogby poll (April 2004) indicates that 77% of the public supports laws "requiring that women who are twenty weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about
fetal pain before having an abortion." # # #
Statement by Senator Jim Talent (R-Missouri)
For Immediate Release: Contact: Rich Chrismer
Thursday, May 20, 2004 Tel: (202) 224-6154
SEN. TALENT COSPONSORS UNBORN CHILD PAIN AWARENESS ACT
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Jim Talent (R-Mo.) today issued the following statement announcing his co-sponsorship of the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act:
"I am pleased to co-sponsor this common sense legislation to help pregnant women make more informed decisions. The bill will require abortion providers to simply notify a woman who is seeking an abortion in the 20th week or after, of the medical and scientific evidence that the unborn child in her womb can feel severe pain during an abortion procedure. If the woman continues with the abortion after being given this information, she would be given the option of anesthesia for the unborn child in order to lessen the pain that would be experienced by the unborn child.
"Anatomical studies have documented that the body's pain network is established at least at 20-weeks. Women have a right to know what their unborn child experiences during an abortion procedure. This legislation will make certain that a woman considering an abortion is fully informed about the procedure and the extreme pain it can cause her unborn child.
From: USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 15:33:21 -0400
To: [email protected]
Subject: UNFPA Committee Vote
DATE: July 12, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BISHOPS' OFFICIAL PRAISES COMMITTEE FOR KEEPING U.S. OUT OF COERCIVE POPULATION PROGRAM
WASHINGTON Today the House Appropriations Committee defeated by a vote of 32-26 an amendment that would have forced the government to give $25 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The amendment was offered by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY).
"This is a victory for women and children around the world, and for the U.S. taxpayer," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., spokesperson for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "The United States should remain out of the business of financing the exploitation of women through coercive programs supported by UNFPA."
Secretary of State Colin Powell on July 21, 2002 denounced the People's Republic of China's regime of severely penalizing women who have "unapproved" births, calling it a "program of coercive abortion." "UNFPA,s support of, and involvement in, China,s population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion," said Powell.
"As long as UNFPA supports these barbaric policies imposed on families, it must remain ineligible for U.S. funding, period," said Ruse.
Gail Quinn, Executive Director of the Pro-Life Secretariat, had urged members of the Committee to vote down the amendment in a letter stating: "Current federal policyreflects a broad international consensus among member nations of the United Nations" which have "condemned 'forced sterilization and forced abortion' as 'acts of violence against women'."
USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat
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