Tuesday, April 06, 2004


The Culture of Death continues its fight being waged in three federal courtrooms across our country, including the one in my own city that I drive past twice each day. Today a doctor testified that a child in the womb can feel pain after 20 weeks.

LINCOLN, Neb. - A type of abortion banned under a new federal law would cause "severe and excruciating" pain to 20-week-old fetuses, a medical expert on pain testified Tuesday.

"I believe the fetus is conscious," said Dr. Kanwaljeet "Sonny" Anand, a pediatrician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He took the stand as a government witness in a trial challenging the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

The act, which was signed by President Bush in November, has not been enforced because judges in Lincoln, Neb., New York and San Francisco agreed to hear evidence in three simultaneous, non-jury trials on whether the ban violates the Constitution.

Anand said fetuses show increased heart rate, blood flow and hormone levels in response to pain.

"The physiological responses have been very clearly studied," he said. "The fetus cannot talk ... so this is the best evidence we can get."

The Culture of Life, meanwhile, is shown by the example of this Mexican mother:

The unidentified 40-year-old woman, who lived in a rural area without electricity, running water or sanitation and was an eight-hour drive from the nearest hospital, performed the operation when she could not deliver the baby naturally.

She had lost a previous baby due to labor complications.

"She took three small glasses of hard liquor and, using a kitchen knife, sliced her abdomen in three attempts ... and delivered a male infant that breathed immediately and cried," said Dr R.F. Valle, of the Dr. Manuel Velasco Suarez Hospital in San Pablo, Mexico.

Before losing consciousness, the woman told one of her children to call a local nurse for help. After the nurse stitched the wound with a sewing needle and cotton thread, the mother and baby were transferred and treated by Valle and his colleagues at the nearest hospital.


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