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Brownback Reintroduces Unborn Child Pain Bill

Location: Washington, DC

Brownback Reintroduces Unborn Child Pain Bill

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

WASHINGTON - Senator Brownback today, along with several other senators, reintroduced the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, S. 51. The bill will require abortion providers to notify a woman who is seeking an abortion 20 weeks after fertilization of the growing medical evidence that the unborn child in her womb can feel severe and extreme pain during an abortion procedure. If the woman continues with the abortion procedure after being given this information, she would be offered anesthesia for the unborn child in order to lessen the pain that would be experienced by the unborn child.

"Unborn children can experience pain even more so than adults as the baby has more pain receptors per square inch than at any other time in its life," Brownback stated at a press conference today. "Any woman who has been blessed with a child in the second trimester can attest to the reaction to touch and discomfort felt by the baby."

An expert report on fetal development, prepared for the partial birth abortion ban trials, noted that unborn children can experience pain based upon anatomical, functional, physiological and behavioral indicators that are correlated with pain in children and adults. A Zogby poll (April 15-17, 2004) found that 77% of respondents agree that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy should be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion.

Brownback continued, "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 can at the very least make an informed decision. 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."

The bill was introduced in the Senate with 31 cosponsors. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) is introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

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