You may consider much of the secular news to be a pain in the posterior, but it’s the subject of pain itself that has been making recent headlines.
Veteran Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently drew the ire of court observers and editorial-page writers when he spoke in favor of using pain to interrogate terror suspects. The “big pain news of the month award” however, has to go to The New York Times Magazine. The weekly recently published a remarkably obtuse piece of journalism “revealing” that babies, at 20 weeks of gestation, may in fact be able to feel pain inflicted by abortionists’ surgical instruments. We offer, in response, a sincere and pointed “DUH!”
After generations of Americans endured and accepted as “simply part of life” the pain associated with everything from childbirth to corporal punishment, from broken bones to policemen’s blackjack whacks, we have now “evolved” as a people who endeavor to be pain-free. Perhaps the point is best illustrated by four words: thank God for epidurals! Further, many children today enjoy the comforts of pain-free, albeit monotonous, timeouts.
Doctors are often eager to provide potentially addictive narcotics to ease the discomfort of most any ailment. A case currently before the US Supreme Court argues that prisoners experiencing execution should simply be allowed to peacefully die in an induced sleep — pain free. Even animals raised for human consumption are protected by law from having to experience pain. While by no means are we pain advocates (after all, pain hurts!), it does strike us as disgustingly ironic that when The New York Times Magazine finally publishes a story suggesting anything negative about abortion, the article doesn’t focus on the fact that an innocent human life is being extinguished, but rather that the baby may experience some pain in-utero as he or she is torn apart by surgical instruments. The story was apparently co-written by Captain Obvious.
As evidence that pre-born babies can experience pain, the article notes a researcher who “selected 45 fetuses that required a potentially painful blood transfusion, giving one-third of them an injection of the potent painkiller Fentanyl…the results were striking: in fetuses that received the analgesic, the production of stress hormones was halved, and the pattern of blood flow remained normal.” In other words, less pain.
So while the research is quickly headed toward producing a consensus that a fetus at 20 weeks can feel pain (something pro-life advocates have maintained for years), the only holdouts, insisting the “pain switch” isn’t turned on until later in life, are those individuals who make their living promoting and performing abortions. How convenient!
Why does it matter?
The consequences of such research are potentially a matter of life and death. If as a people, we come to agree that unborn babies can feel pain, such knowledge gives them a consideration too often reserved only for supposedly higher levels of humanity. If they are, in fact, like us and do experience pain, then how can we in good conscience continue to murder them in the womb? After all, even cattle headed for the butcher shop shouldn’t have to endure pain. Right?
Full New York Times Magazine article.
Michael Clancy, the photographer who took the picture and who owns the copyright to it says, however, that out of the corner of his eye he saw the uterus shake and the baby’s hand pop out of the surgical opening on its own. Clancy says that when the doctor put his finger into the baby’s hand, the baby squeezed the finger and held on. You can read Clancy’s description of the experience and more about the picture at his website at http://www.michaelclancy.com/.