Babies feel pain at 21 weeks: Doctors say that open fetal surgery should include anesthesia for the fetus

What babies experience in the womb has long been the subject of debate, but experts who don’t have a vested interest in carrying out abortions are being increasingly vocal about the fact that a fetus does feel pain from much earlier than many people would like to believe.

A new study from the University of Seville can now be added to the pile of evidence that fetuses do feel pain. They found that babies are already showing signs of pain in response to stress or when given a harmful stimulus starting at 21 weeks of gestation.

At the University Hospital Virgen del Rocio, they’ve performed open fetal surgery for decades. In fact, the hospital was the site of Europe’s first intrauterine spina bifida operation. They report that while the fetus is normally administered anesthesia via IV from the beginning of the operation, in one case that wasn’t possible, and their monitoring teams immediately found anomalies in the fetus’s behavior that they considered a response to the stress the pain of the operation caused. They quickly gave the baby anesthesia to continue with the surgery without adversely affecting the baby.

They believe that in open fetal surgery, anesthesia must always be given directly to the fetus to reduce fetal stress and mortality. In non-anesthetized fetuses, fetal mortality from these operations exceeds 20 percent.

In other words, then, babies in late-term abortions can feel doctors tearing their limbs off. Does this mean the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will change their stance? ACOG spokeswoman Kate Connors said: “The science shows that based on gestational age, the fetus is not capable of feeling pain until the third trimester.” This does not begin until the 27th week.

Another statement from the group said that the nervous system and brain of a fetus “do not have the capacity to process, recognize or feel pain during the second trimester.” Of course, what else would we expect them to say when many of their members make their livelihood carrying out abortions? The group also lobbies for abortions.

The concept of fetal pain could change legislation

Fetal pain was cited as the reason behind a vote by Missouri House members last week to tighten abortion restrictions. The procedure is already banned after 22 weeks of pregnancy in the state, and the bill, which the House passed by a vote of 117 to 31, would tighten the window to just 20 weeks. The sponsor of the bill, Representative Donna Lichtenegger, and its supporters argued that abortions cause suffering to fetuses and that those capable of feeling pain should not be allowed to be killed in abortions.

A former Planned Parenthood Medical Director and ex-abortionist who has since become pro-life, OB/GYN Dr. Kathi Aultman, told LifeSiteNews that she has no doubt babies feel pain at that point. When she worked in a neonatal intensive care unit, she says babies around that age showed clear signs of feeling pain when they got IVs or blood tests.

Like the Seville researchers, she asserted that operating on a fetus inside the womb is extremely stressful for a fetus in corrective procedures.

She said: “Anesthesiologists believe they feel pain and they feel it needs to be treated if they’re doing intrauterine surgery. What they’ve found is that [babies] need narcotics or something to actually treat the pain in order for their outcomes to be improved.”

So why exactly is the concept of fetal pain in the second trimester still being debated?

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