.- Fr. Frank Pavone, head of the group Priests for Life has criticized a study, being published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, which concludes that fetuses, 29 weeks-old and younger probably cannot feel pain and therefore, do not require anesthetic during abortions.
A report in today’s New York Times suggested that, “The finding poses a direct challenge to proposed federal and state laws that would compel doctors to tell women having abortions at 20 weeks or later that their fetuses can feel pain and to offer them anesthesia specifically for the fetus.”
Fr. Pavone pointed out however that, "The disputed report coming out of the University of California, indicating that pain may not be felt by unborn children during abortions in early pregnancy, hardly settles the matter scientifically."
"Other studies”, he said, “over the last 15 years around the world show evidence of earlier fetal pain. Research has to continue. Meanwhile, it makes sense to err on the side of caution."
He also pointed out that the mere possibility of pain should give pause to supporters and those performing abortions.
Even if the dubious study is correct, Fr. Pavone pointed out, it would still not justify abortions.
"There are many painless ways to kill both born and unborn,” he said. “That doesn't make it right."