Utah governor signs bill requiring abortion anesthesia

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  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    April 1, 2016 7:46 a.m.

    @worf --

    "Don't fool yourself."

    Back atcha. Commenter, examine thyself.

    "Sonograms, show babies fighting back, and in pain."

    No, they don't.

    Movement is not evidence of pain. You can get a withdrawal reflex (pinch a toe and the leg contracts) from people who have completely severed spinal cords, even when they can't feel anything at all. It's a spinal reflex, not pain.

    "And they do have a beating heart."

    So do earthworms. So do brain-dead patients in comas.

    "It's taking away life."

    So is stepping on a snail.

    Please, worf, be serious. If the part of the brain that registers pain doesn't even exist, then it's **impossible** for the fetus to feel pain. You might as well ask a headless chicken if it feels pain -- they move too, you know. Google "The Chicken Who Lived Without His Head for 18 Months".

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 31, 2016 6:45 p.m.


    Don't fool yourself.

    Sonograms, show babies fighting back, and in pain. And they do have a beating heart.

    There is no excusing of this. It's taking away life.

  • AuContrarius mid-state, TN
    March 31, 2016 11:18 a.m.

    @worf --

    "Death is very painful to the baby...."

    And yet again we see the Repubs' complete disconnect from reality, even when facts are right in front of them.

    Yet again --

    1. A fetus is not a baby.

    2. A fetus at 20-26 weeks doesn't have the neural structures or connections that are necessary for the perception of pain. It is physically impossible for that fetus to feel pain.

    Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists -- March 2010 -- "...pain from physical trauma requires an intact pathway from the periphery, through the spinal cord, into the thalamus and on to regions of the cerebral cortex including the primary sensory cortex, the insular cortex and the anterior cingulated cortex (which develops at 26 weeks). Fetal pain is not possible before these necessary neural pathways and structures have developed."

    British Medical Journal April 2006 -- Can Fetuses Feel Pain? -- "...a mandate to provide pain relief before abortion is not supported by what is known about the neurodevelopment of systems that support pain. Proposals to...(administer fetal anesthesia), which increase risks to the women and costs to the health provider, undermine the interests of the women and are unnecessary for fetuses..."

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 31, 2016 9:48 a.m.

    Death is very painful to the baby.

    Why not have some compassion, and give some relief?

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2016 2:36 p.m.

    Why do these men feel that they have so much right to make these decisions for women! Please, if you say that they are worried about the unborn babies, I will throw up! I think we should round up all these self righteous men and take a good long look at their lives! Let us see how many of the starving and dying and orphaned and sick children they have even lifted a pinky to help! Truth! They barely even think of them! I am serious, do you think that people really care about these fetuses?
    You know, I think that we each have a right to privacy when it comes to these matters! I am so sick of self righteous Mormons degrading my private life because I am gay! Of course, they first make it loud and clear how sacred their sex lives are and so on! They have basic laws governing abortion! Stay out of other people's lives and worry about learning to treat people like you should! How many years of my life have I been treated like nothing from there people! It isn't your life to decide!

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    March 30, 2016 7:01 a.m.

    @TJ --

    "According to our creators law, it is killing a human."

    There is NO passage in the Bible that equates abortion with murder. None.

    And, in fact, in Numbers 5:12-29, God instructs Moses on how to teach priests to administer abortifacients to unfaithful women.

    @jsf --

    "if a child is considered viable at 22 weeks, then why could some children not develop the ability to feel pain at an earlier date?"

    The brain structures and connections necessary to feel pain are simply not present at that age. That's a verifiable fact, and politics won't change it.

    @Jimbo Low --

    "Any doctor who says with certainty the fetus feels no pain at this stage is delusional. "

    It isn't delusion -- it's medical reality.

    This bill forces doctors to lie to pregnant women, and forces additional medical risk on those women for no benefit.

    It constantly amazes me that the party of supposed small government is so eager to interfere with citizens' intimate private lives.

  • Tango Dancer Bronx, NY
    March 30, 2016 1:42 a.m.

    Uh? This legislation was proposed by an accountant? Maybe he should be licensed so he can be the anesthesiologist since he appears his college degree gives him the same knowledge as a doctor. But it's Utah and another attempt by the legislature to regulate a woman's right to choose. Next they'll tell you that a zygote reacts to a pin prick, obviously reacting to pain and hence anesthesia needs to be applied after Day 1.

    I'm surprised the legislature isn't demanding a woman go through a two week counseling program before making a request, and then have them fill out about 15 forms and appearing before an anti-abortion committee to receive approval. They can lay it on thick and heavy with a big dose of religious judgmentalism.

    It's obvious that this is just a ruse to eliminate abortions without doing anything to help these women before they get to this stage. And, of course, once the baby is born, he/she is no longer a concern of the legislature. So good-bye programs to get this baby on the right course for good health.

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    March 29, 2016 11:58 p.m.

    Another example of the religious right ignoring good science and data just so they can impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

    I guess a smart doctor will give a pregnant woman a sugar pill, tell her to wait for 30 min and can now claim that is a safe and effective anesthetic for a fetus since they do not feel pain.

    Problem solved!

  • 1st avenue New York, NY
    March 29, 2016 11:23 p.m.

    I think jimbo must be right after all the doctors only have science on thier side and Jimbo has his thoughts and beliefs on his side.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 29, 2016 5:34 p.m.

    I get the point that most of the people who have commented here to this point are virulently anti-abortion. So what are you doing to stop the need for abortion - stop unwanted pregnancies? Stop the unwanted pregnancies from starting? It's been clearly shown that unwanted pregnancies greatly decrease when comprehensive sex education and no-cost contraception are readily available. Prevent the conceptions and you will stop the abortions. res ipsa loquitor.

  • essence Ivins, UT
    March 29, 2016 5:21 p.m.

    You can tell Herbert is running for office again and against more conservative people. He's afraid to veto anything controversial. This one I get that he could get some major pushback, but he also signed two water funding bills that many people would have supported. He appears rather gutless.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 29, 2016 4:24 p.m.

    "Fetus = unborn baby = human life. Doesn't really matter what you or I call it, it is still ending a human life. "

    And yet,
    Even the LDS Church allows for execeptions to prohibitions on abortion.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 29, 2016 4:11 p.m.

    Fetus = unborn baby = human life. Doesn't really matter what you or I call it, it is still ending a human life.
    According to our creators law, it is killing a human. According to mans law, it is nothing more than removing a tumor. I know who I am supporting on this.
    I will not be happy about what happens to those who kill a healthy human before it gets a chance to take its first breath when they appear before their maker. It will be horrible for them.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2016 3:54 p.m.

    The Spotted Owl of the Pacific Northwest has more rights, protection and proponents than UNBORN human beings.

    The absurdity of it all is beyond words. Human genocide by the millions and backers are hailed as heroes.

  • chuckk SANDY, UT
    March 29, 2016 3:43 p.m.

    It would seem that by requiring a woman to accept this anesthesia the governor has made the state and all of us completely responsible for any unintended issues that trace any negative impact back to this procedure. We may need to set up a significant fund to be available to women that have problems. You see, there is no such thing as anesthesia without risks.

  • Truth-is-Reason Idaho Falls, ID
    March 29, 2016 3:13 p.m.

    So I guess it's OK to kill people who are under anesthesia, or the rare person who lacks pain receptors, or someone in a coma.... Suppressing the pain does nothing to reduce the barbarity of birth control abortions.

  • Summit Park City, UT
    March 29, 2016 3:09 p.m.

    Thank you for a good bill and a signature into law. A step in the right direction.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 29, 2016 2:43 p.m.

    "One reason the JAMA review finds early pain perception unlikely is that the connections between the thalamus, a sort of relay center in the brain, and the cortex have not yet formed. This happens between 23 and 30 weeks gestational age, and the authors argue these connections are a precursor for pain perception. They also cite studies using electroencephalography that have shown the capacity for functional pain in preterm newborns “probably does not exist before 29 or 30 weeks.

    The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has agreed with RCOG’s (Royal Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)) and the JAMA study’s findings, writing in 2012 that “[s]upporters of fetal pain legislation only present studies which support the claim of fetal pain prior to the third trimester. When weighed together with other available information, including the JAMA and RCOG studies, supporters’ conclusion does not stand.”


    March 29, 2016 2:41 p.m.

    Any doctor who says with certainty the fetus feels no pain at this stage is delusional. This is a good bill and brings to light the inhumane treatment of the unborn.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    March 29, 2016 2:26 p.m.

    Why are abortion supporters so inhuman, if a child is considered viable at 22 weeks, then why could some children not develop the ability to feel pain at an earlier date? Could it be they are afraid of giving the child the image of being human. Oh the fear!

    We have a section of our population that worry about the pain a chicken feels, but then ignore and tell all that a child can not feel pain.

    Just give it a thought of what it would be like if these inhuman individuals are appointed to health panels under government controlled health care. You really think they care about anyone's future contributions to society.

    They will go to all extremes to make sure their victims have no humanity attached to them, and then they have no guilt to own. How many millions can they do, well in the US over 55 million lives have been snuffed out. But what the heck, maybe we can start with the other end of the life experience, or maybe just pick one group for genocide.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    March 29, 2016 2:24 p.m.

    Let's see, "oh I'm pregnant and don't want the child, I'll wait till 20+ weeks to have an abortion." Think you pregnant, even remotely, go to a women health clinic and get the morning after pill, it's free.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 29, 2016 2:11 p.m.

    Prior to enactment of this law, UT law required physicians to offer anesthesia to women having abortions. Apparently the male-dominated UT legislature decided women are incapable of making their own decisions.

    "...the idea that 20-week-old fetuses can feel anything is disputed; a 2005 review of more than 300 studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester (28 weeks).

    Utah generally does not allow abortions after the point of viability, around 22 to 24 weeks."
    (Washington Post)

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 29, 2016 1:51 p.m.

    "The new law by Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, targets a small subset of women who have elective abortions beginning at 20 weeks. State law normally allows abortions until viability, which is at about 22 weeks. Bramble initially sought to ban abortions after 20 weeks entirely, but he changed course after the Legislature's attorneys warned him that any such measure would likely be unconstitutional.

    Dr. Sean Esplin of Intermountain Healthcare in Utah said anesthesia or an analgesic would need to go through the woman in order to reach the fetus. Doctors could give a woman general anesthesia, which would make her unconscious and likely require a breathing tube, or a heavy dose of narcotics."
    (US News and World Report)

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2016 1:47 p.m.

    I find it interesting that fetuses that must be aborted for the life or health of the mother don't have the same potential to feel pain at 20 weeks that fetuses aborted by choice feel.

    There are two potential explanations for this: 1) fetuses that must be aborted for the life of the mother know this and shut down their own pain systems in response to a "legitimate" abortion; or, 2) this is complete ridiculousness and just another effort to create difficulties for women who make a choice some people don't like.

    My guess is #2.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2016 1:05 p.m.

    Once again politicians (and others) think they know more about medicine then Doctors and Scientists.Nothing new here, just the same old blather.

  • 1st avenue New York, NY
    March 29, 2016 1:02 p.m.

    @tj and 1978
    Except for the fact that the fetus (the actual medical term) is incapable of feeling pain as that part of the brain does not exisist at this stage, it makes perfect sense to unnecessarily place the mother's health at risk.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 29, 2016 12:35 p.m.

    Increased health risk? Seems like it is a pretty serious health risk for a living, unborn baby also. If this makes a few women who are considering an abortion think about why the anesthetic is needed, and even one life is saved because a pregnant woman decides not to end her childs life, it is a good bill.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2016 12:20 p.m.

    "Many doctors in Utah and across the country are concerned that the requirement could increase the health risks to women"

    Really? The next time one of those doctors (who are concerned about this) need an operation don't give them any anesthetic just let them bit down on a bullet. After all we wouldn't want to increase their health risk.