Washington D.C., Aug 28, 2005 / 22:00 pm
The flurry of controversy surrounding a report published in last week’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which claims that unborn babies cannot feel pain before the third trimester, has shifted its focus onto Journal editor, Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, a Catholic, and Eucharistic minister who says she supports a woman’s right to choose abortion.
Claims of bias arose last week as reports came out that two of the reports authors had strong links to the abortion industry.
The report, which is actually an assessment of already-existing research, suggests that unborn babies younger than 29 weeks cannot feel pain and therefore do not require anesthesia during abortions. The study poses a direct challenge to certain proposed federal and state laws which would require abortion doctors to tell mothers that their babies can feel pain and offer anesthesia specifically for the fetus.
The bias claims point to the study’s lead author, Susan J. Lee, who is a medical student and former NARAL Pro-Choice America employee, and one of the physician authors, Eleanor Drey, who directs an abortion clinic in San Francisco.