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In our opinion: Feeling their pain: Science, abortion and fetal pain

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  • Ranch Here, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    Whether or not a clump of cells can feel pain is irrelevant. The relevant discussion is whether or not the WOMAN whose body is going to be incubating the cells WANTS to have a baby or not. It is nobody else's business. Not yours, not mine, not the states.

    MYOB.

  • thunderbolt7 DUTCH JOHN, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    Since when is Pain a determinant for Abortion? By that reasoning if abortion could be done pain-free, is it therefore morally acceptable? If a struggling family could not care for their children, how about rendering the children unconscious and killing them? The presence or absence of pain is NOT a determinant for justifiably killing someone.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    Since pain is a built in feature of all living things, we must assume that pain would exist in any thing that has life.

    The significance of pain is two fold. There is an aspect of pain that comes to our consciousness and is unpleasant and another aspect of pain that simple causes physical reaction of muscles.

    Our long held assumption has been that when a person is unconscious they do not feel pain. Thus when medical procedures that would cause much pain to a conscious person are done to a anesthetized person they don’t feel the pain. We sometimes refer to this as simply putting a person to sleep. Whether or not the person felt the pain and just doesn’t remember seems irrelevant.

    When an unborn child moves around or kicks in his very confining space, he may be consciously reacting to something uncomfortable. But does it really matter if he won’t remember it.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Sept. 8, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    If a fetus is just a clump of cells, then its parents can be defined in the same way. What is inhumane treatment of a 1 month old child is also inhumane to a fetus 1 month before birth. This article didn't concern a woman's right to elect to have an abortion. It analyzed the methods and importance of protecting the fetus from pain during medical procedures in the womb. Since we are "our brother's keepers", then it is our business that unborn babies be treated with compassion, even if they ultimately are not born.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    If there is any doubt whether a human being in the fetal state, embryonic state, or any other state, is experiencing physical pain by the deliberate action of another, that human being should be protected and that inflicter of pain should be prosecuted.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 8, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    The good news:

    "(CBS News) The rate of teenagers becoming mothers is declining rapidly, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The average teen birth rate decreased 9 percent from 2009 to 2010, reaching an all time low of 34.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.
    That's a 44 percent drop from 1991 to 2010. There were less teenage mothers in 2010 than any year since 1946."

    The key to reducing the number of abortions is to reduce unplanned pregnancy.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 8, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    Using pain or viability to determine whether or not an abortion should be performed is just muddying the water. So is justifying abortion because there are a lot of spontaneous abortions. Biologically, from the moment the egg is fertilized, the zygote is a human being. It's not a dog or a cat or a monkey. It has its own unique DNA and chromosomes, etc. It is metabolizing and following a genetically programmed course to maturity. To intentionally kill it is taking a human life no matter what its stage of development. If a woman decides to have an abortion, it is taking her child's life. Sometimes a very difficult decision must be made if a rape has occurred or if the life of the mother is at serious risk. But to arbitrarily take the life of a child just because to have the baby might interfere with the mother's career or education or convenience is callous disregard and disrespect for human life.

  • Pac_Man Pittsburgh, PA
    Sept. 8, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    Clump of cells??! I have heard it all.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 8, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    Ranch,

    At what point does the “clump of cells” have an interest separate from that of the “body . . . incubating the cells”? Can the fetus ever have interests separate from those of the mother?

    I think most would agree that a near term baby has a separate interest from the mother. The question is when is that divergence?

    And, if abortion is not okay at 8.9 months, what about 8.8 months? Or 8.7? And so on.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 8, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    "Biologically, from the moment the egg is fertilized, the zygote is a human being." I and many others have to disagree. It will possibly develop to be a human being because of it's biology but it's not a human being. The zygote actually would have DNA that is 50% compatible with a banana, and 97% compatible with a chimpanzee. It's the developmental process that allows the human differences to develop. Until that development takes place what exists before is not a human being.

    "There is an aspect of pain that comes to our consciousness and is unpleasant and another aspect of pain that simple causes physical reaction of muscles." To Bob's point I read an article how a body that is brain dead but having organs harvested actually reacts to the procedure much like a fetus with muscle twitches and movement.

  • Befuddled WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 3:09 p.m.

    Ranch, I bet God will have the final say, not you, me or the state! Murder is murder no matter how its painted.

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    Sept. 8, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    re:Befuddled
    "Murder is murder no matter how its painted."

    The LDS Church's stance is abortion may be allowed in cases of incest, rape and or life/health issues of the mother. Are they condoning "murder"?

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    I like the LDS position on abortion. In addition to rape, incest and life/health of the mother, the Church has also allowed abortions in cases of severe fetal deformity. Pain has not been a key factor in the Church's stance.

    In the Bible we also find that God allows the termination of unborn life in three circumstances: 1. Use of "bitter water" to terminate pregnancy, as explained in Numbers 5, 2. the stoning of women who are pregnant out of wedlock and 3. the slaying in some cities of all residents, including women, some of whom would have been pregnant.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 8, 2013 5:31 p.m.

    Rape and incest implies that the woman did not consent to have sex. There was no choice. She was a victim. Her body was invaded against her will.

    That circumstance is rare. Regardless of what some people insist, of the 55,000,000 abortions since 1976, very few were the result of incest or rape. Very few involved the imminent death of the mother if the pregnancy continued.

    Telling us that better birth control would reduce abortions is nonsense. If a man and a woman honor their Creator, they will not kill unborn children because of their "mistake" any more than they would kill a parent just because they didn't want the responsibility of "dealing" with that parent.

    Pain is pain. The closest method of destroying the unborn baby is being drawn and quartered. NO COUNTRY on earth allows that as a form of capital punishment. Are we so deaf that we can't hear the screams of the unborn as they are being destroyed?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    I'm pretty sure most of you support abortions in the case of the life of the mother being in jeopardy. Those are pretty much always late-term abortions so do you want those banned now because that'd be in the fetal pain stage?

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Sept. 8, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    @Mike Richards

    "...Rape and incest implies that the woman did not consent to have sex. There was no choice. She was a victim. Her body was invaded against her will.

    That circumstance is rare...".

    Is that a feeling or do you have some info/data?

    "...of the 55,000,000 abortions since 1976...".

    Conservative icon Ronald Reagan, while he was the GOV. of California, signed into law, in 1967,

    an abortion bill that led to the murder of over 2,000,000 babies.

    Why the arbitrary cutoff of 1976, in your comment?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 8, 2013 10:36 p.m.

    Mike, I don't know what you call rare, but the official stats say that over 10% of abortions are because of rape or incest. I would say 10% is not rare but significant. Also the number of abortions, and the rate of abortions are also declining significantly again nearly 10% over the last decade. Coincidence is not causation, but the decline is coincidental with increased birth control and sex education. Once again I think the numbers indicate that better birth control likely does reduce abortions.

    BTW over 80% of abortion occur before the 16th week so the vast majority of abortions would not be effected by a twenty week deadline so it's pretty much grandstanding by the right.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 9, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    If abortions were only performed when pregnancy was caused by rape or incest and if as many as 10% of all abortions were the result of rape or incest, there would have been 5,500,000 abortions instead of 55,000,000 since Roe v Wade. There would be 49,500,000 people who not been destroyed inside the womb of their mothers. Maybe that number means nothing to you because you are one of those people who was not aborted. You have experienced life. You live and breathe. Those who were destroyed do not. That is the difference. They didn't have a choice.

    If it is "grandstanding" to protect the right of a baby to be born after that baby was conceived by consenting parents, then I'll "grandstand" everyday of my life. NO ONE has the right to destroy life unilaterally. Life is a gift from our Creator, both ours and the lives of those whom we invite to join us in mortality because of our actions.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:10 a.m.

    @JSB
    Sugar City, ID

    Biologically, from the moment the egg is fertilized, the zygote is a human being.

    [So then - Biologically a dead person must be "biologically" living several months after being buried then as well?...]

    ====

    @Befuddled
    WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

    Murder is murder no matter how its painted.

    [I disagree. That is inconsistent with the LDS Church's stance on the issue.]

    ======

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Rape and incest implies that the woman did not consent to have sex. There was no choice. She was a victim. Her body was invaded against her will.

    That circumstance is rare.

    [So you and the other uber-far-right guys are OK with allowing what happened to the victims of Ariel Caesar in Cleveland, Ohio? A Total ban on all abortions because "those" circumstances are rare? I suppose you also believe a human body will spontaneously abort in cases of "legitimate" rape.
    The LDS Church allows for abortion in these circumstances, it is not considered murder, and the Church is politically "neutral" over the issue. I have a suggestion -- Follow the Prophet.]

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    Mr. Richards, believe as you will, you have every right to do so. Grandstand all day long everyday. As long as it's within certain limits you also have that right. But some of us are here to point out that these are beliefs fueled by your religious beliefs and while they may inform your opinions and votes they are not beliefs shared by everyone. Many don't believe that a) life comes from a creator, and/or b) a fetus prior to around the 26 week period is humanly developed enough to trump the life choices of the mother. Both beliefs resulting in a woman's legal ability to choose whether she wants to continue with a pregnancy up to the 26 week period.

    Both are beliefs but the later set of beliefs are informed by science either partially or wholly. You are entitled to your beliefs and your sources but you don't get to change the facts of science. You have to either accept them, reject them, or somehow accommodate them.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    It looks that God can't do His work without the help from Mr. Liberal who thinks that abortion is the solution instead of the problem. Maybe Mr. Liberal would like to borrow a set of scriptures that aren't all smudged up so that the words are clear. I think that he forgets why this earth and worlds without end were created. It was not so that babies could be aborted. It was to exalt mankind. Maybe his definition of mankind is different than God's definition. Maybe he should read John 15:13 just one more time until he understands that a mother is the best friend that a child has. She literally gives that child bone of her bones and flesh of her flesh so that the child can be blessed to experience mortality.

    God had never given "mankind" the right to kill unborn babies. Psalm 127:3 reminds us of the gift that God gives.

    Who would inflict pain on a child? The scriptures tell us that we will fully feel the pain that we inflict on others. That will be a just and proper punishment.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    @Twin Lights – “And, if abortion is not okay at 8.9 months, what about 8.8 months? Or 8.7? And so on.”

    It would sure be refreshing if this were the national conversation we were having.

    I don’t know anyone (except perhaps the fully indoctrinated religious) who cannot make a moral distinction between an 8.9 month old human being and a 3 day old blastocyst (what is used for stem cell research, by the way).

    Perhaps if we ever return to a day where the extremists are no longer driving the conversation we can table the two at either end of the developmental cycle as already decided, and discuss where exactly we should draw the line in the grey area in between… and science can certainly help as make that decision.

    And then once and for all kick this political football out of the public arena…

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    If "viability" means the baby can survive without their mother... then we should be able to kill kids even after birth, because a baby can't survive on it's own even after birth.

    Where should we draw the line? 2 years? 8 years old? When can a child survive on it's own?

    Abortion is a barbaric practice to me (regardless or religious beliefs). I prefer adoption.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Re. pragmatistferlife
    You say the Zygote will "possibly develop to be a human being because of it's biology but it's not a human being... It's the developmental process that allows the human differences to develop. Until that development takes place what exists before is not a human being." At precisely what point in the developmental process does the baby become a human being?

    Also, comparing the DNA of different species is another smoke screen. Obviously, there is DNA overlap but the DNA of the human zygote is human DNA. Not a banana or a chimpanzee.

    Re. Open Minded Mormon
    You said "Biologically a dead person must be 'biologically' living several months after being buried then as well" In my original post I said that the zygote is "metabolizing." Dead people aren't metabolizing. Please don't distort what I said in order to make your point.

    These arguments say more about how desperate some people are to justify killing a small human being, than actually clarifying the issue.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    Zygote, Clump of cells, Half banana and 97% chimp.

    Nice nicknames for unborn humans.

    In WWII and Korea, and probably every other war, no one was told to kill humans either. That made up nice nicknames for the enemy humans, so no one would have to consider that they were killing 'people'. (The screeners never let those names through, but you know them.)

    Those nicknames may make the killers feel better about what they do, but it doesn't change the fact that they are killing humans, also called people, children, boys, girls, daughters, sons, etc.

    Call abortion what it is.
    War, against defenseless, voiceless, little human people.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    Regarding fetal pain:

    "... But does it really matter if he won’t remember it."

    So you justify fetal murder because the pain won't be remembered? That would justify all murder, because dead people don't remember the pain either.

    Another consideration, when a vet puts a pet down, the animal is sedated first. Don't our children deserve at least that much consideration? Shouldn't we require fetal anesthesia before every abortion, now that there is evidence that abortion victim will experience pain? The mother gets sedation or anesthesia, why not the baby? It has to hurt to be ripped or cut in pieces.

    I dare say the heartless pro-abortion folks would fight that. They don't want to think about what they are actually doing, or the pain they are causing, and they don't want anyone else to think about it either.

    When the truth is too hard to bear, just lie, right?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 9, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    JSB, "At precisely what point in the developmental process does the baby become a human being?" Right around the 26 week mark. Any other questions?

    L White, " I think that he forgets why this earth and worlds without end were created. It was not... It was to exalt mankind. Really? I'd give God an F on this one..look around. Or maybe there's just not a god and we've done this all to ourselves.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    To "Ranch" if a woman doesn't want to have a baby, maybe having sex is a bad idea. If I don't want to get wet when it is raining, I don't go outside in the rain. If I go outside in the rain, I have to be prepared to accept getting wet, no matter what precautions I take.

    What you propose is removing the consequences of bad choices. That attitude will only lead to more bad choices.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Christian 24-7 – “Call abortion what it is… war, against defenseless, voiceless, little human people.”

    If the pro-life folks loved their fellow man half as much as they love a blastocyst (collection of cells so small you need a microscope to see them) the world would be a blessed place indeed.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    Truthseeker,
    Teens aren't the only people getting abortions. But you are right that "The key to reducing the number of abortions is to reduce unplanned pregnancy". But this isn't only a teen problem.

    One fairly reliable way to prevent unplanned pregnancy is... abstinence. But since some people think that's not an option... we do have a lot of other options. With all the options available, abortion should be almost non-existent. There are a few cases where it's medically necessary (but that is not predominately the reason for most abortions in America today).

    Even IF an unwanted pregnancy should occur... what's wrong with adoption??

    Do you think it's worth terminating the child so the mother can avoid the consequences of her decision to be sexually active (when she doesn't want a baby) and not take precautions?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 9:44 p.m.

    Re. pragmatistferlife. On what do you base your decision that the fetus becomes a human being at 26 weeks? The 26 week mark sounds pretty arbitrary; just a convenient time so that people who have abortions before 26 weeks won't have a guilty conscience. Please back up your statement with some real biological proof.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 9, 2013 10:20 p.m.

    26 weeks is just the magic POLITICAL date the fetus becomes human, not anything to do with biology. That date was set by politicians, not anybody in a NICU. Anybody working in a NICU knows that a baby can survive at 26 weeks gestation.

    But from the pictures I've seen... the fetus looks pretty human way before 26 weeks. Maybe the cutoff should be when the brain starts functioning. Why do we sing to babies in the womb if they can't hear or recognize music or their mother's voice?

    This debate is pretty useless. Nobody ever changes their mind. But I'm still going to share my opinion on it anyway.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Sept. 10, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Tyler-

    Pro-life folks are pro-life for EVERYONE, so they do love their fellow man as much as they love the unborn.

    And yes, we do make the world a blessed place indeed!