You are here:

Abortion/How do you know what the truth is?

Advertisement


Question
I'm confused.  What is the truth about abortion?  On the radio they are saying the doctors can prove that babies feel pain during an abortion.  I don't even step on ants because it will hurt them.  I need an abortion but I don't want to hurt my baby.  I'm scared.  

Answer
Ann.

I assume you heard someone talking about "the silent scream"?  Here is the truth behind it. This was taken off of the NIH (National Institue of Health) website, so it is impartial and neither pro or anti abortion. It is simply medical fact.

Claim:
The 12-week fetus experiences pain.
Facts:
At this stage of the pregnancy, the brain and nervous system are still in a very early stage of development. The beginnings of the brain stem, which includes a rudimentary thalamus and spinal cord, is being formed. Most brain cells are not developed. Without a cerebral cortex (gray matter covering the brain), pain impulses cannot be received or perceived. Additionally, experts find that newborns at 26-27 weeks' gestation (24-25 weeks' fetal age) who survive have significantly less response to pain than do full term newborns.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Statement on Pain of the Fetus
We know of no legitimate scientific information that supports the statement that a fetus experiences pain early in pregnancy.
We do know that the cerebellum attains its final configuration in the seventh month and that mylenization (or covering) of the spinal cord and the brain begins between the 20th and 40th weeks of pregnancy. These, as well as other neurological developments, would have to be in place for the fetus to receive pain.
To feel pain, a fetus needs neurotransmitted hormones. In animals, these complex chemicals develop in the last third of gestation. We know of no evidence that humans are different.

Claim:
The 12-week fetus makes purposeful movements (e.g., agitated movement in an attempt to avoid suction cannula).
Facts:
At this stage of pregnancy, all fetal movement is reflexive in nature rather than purposeful, since the latter requires cognition, which is the ability to perceive and know. For cognition to occur, the cortex (gray matter covering the brain) must be present, as well as myelinization (covering sheath) of the spinal cord and attached nerves, which is not the case.
An example of the reflex withdrawal without pain occurs in an anencephalic (absent brain) newborn. Another known example of the reflex movement at this stage of human pregnancy is thumb sucking in utero.
What is termed "frantic activity" by the fetus is a reflex response of the fetus resulting from movement of the uterus and its contents induced by operator manipulation of the suction curette or the ultrasound transducer on the abdomen. This same type of response would likely occur with any external stimulus. A one-cell organism such as an amoeba will reflexively move or display a withdrawal reaction when touched.
In addition, experts in ultrasonography and film technology have concluded that the videotape of the abortion was deliberately slowed down and subsequently speeded up to create an impression of hyperactivity.

Claim:
Ultrasonogram depicts the open mouth of the fetus.
Facts:
The mouth of the fetus cannot be identified in the ultrasound image with certainty. The statement that the screen identifies the open mouth of the fetus is a subjective and misleading interpretation by Dr. Nathanson. His conclusion is not supportable.

Claim:
The fetus emits "The Silent Scream."
Facts:
A scream cannot occur without air in the lungs. Although primitive respiratory movements do occur in the later stages of gestation, crying or screaming cannot occur even then. In fact, a child born prematurely at 26-27 weeks' gestation (24-25 weeks' fetal age) cannot scream but occasionally emits weak cries.

Claim:
A fetus is indistinguishable from any of the rest of us.
Facts:
A fetus of 12 weeks cannot in any way be compared to a fully formed functioning person. At this stage only rudiments of the organ systems are present. The fetus is unable to sustain life outside the woman's womb, it is incapable of conscious thought; it is incapable of essential breathing. It is instead an in utero fetus with the potential of becoming a child.

Claim:
Fetal head at 12 weeks requires the use of "crushing instruments" for extraction.
Facts:
At 12 weeks' gestation (10 weeks' fetal age) and even 1-2 weeks beyond, instrumentation other than a suction cannula is not required when abortion is properly performed. Cannulas for aspiration abortion come in varying sizes, and the larger sizes are adequate for withdrawing the contents of the uterus.


So to sum it up, Prior to atleast 24 weeks, it is medicaly impossible for a fetus to "feel" anything. That is not an opinion, it is medical fact. The parts of the nervous system and brain that we must have in order to feel something are not there. They have not developed yet.

Abortion

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Angel

Expertise

I am a 23 yr old mother. I currently work with a group called safe haven. My position there is as a mother`s adovacate, I support the choices that the women who come to us make, and help them carry out their decision, be it adoption, abortion or keeping the baby. I know that there are not a lot of people that a young woman can turn to for help on this issue and get an unbiast and truthful answer... THAT is what I do. I give honest, factual, and unbiast answers about abortion.

Experience


Past/Present clients
alot of young women who i think would rather stay nameless, if you want to check me out so to speak, you can go to the safe haven web site

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.