Recently, I’ve been posting against abortion and have had opponents to abortion raise the issue of fetal pain. Does the fetus feel pain during abortion? The evidence seems fairly clear and consistent. Consider this statement made in a British medical journal: “Try sticking an infant with a pin and you know what happens. She opens her mouth to cry and also pulls away. Try sticking an 8-week-old human fetus in the palm of his hand. He opens his mouth and pulls his hand away. A more technical description would add that changes in heart rate and fetal movement also suggest that intrauterine manipulations are painful to the fetus.”
The overall point is simple. Medical science leads to a pro-life perspective rather than a pro-choice perspective. If medical science can be used at all to draw a line, the clearest line is at the moment of conception. Medical arguments provide a strong case against abortion and for life.
While I agree that medical science does support a pro-life perspective rather than a pro-choice perspective, I would not use the argument of fetal pain to make that case first because the research is not conclusive but more importantly because fetal pain is a distraction because whether or not the fetus feels pain or not it is wrong to kill it. The right to life is dependent on one’s status as a human being, not upon the development of one’s nervous system.