North Dakota is the most recent state to ban abortions after 20 weeks. Research on fetal pain now shows that at 20 weeks of gestation, the baby’s pain receptors are fully developed. In fact, at this stage of development, each side of the brain has a billion nerve cells.
In signing the bill, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple stated, “Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade.”
Other states have passed similar “fetal pain bills” in efforts to place limits on abortions. In March, North Dakota passed a bill, also signed by Gov. Dalrymple, that banned abortions as early as six weeks, which is when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This makes North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation on abortion.
In reporting on this story, CBN.com, stated, “Ten states have passed similar bills banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but researchers are on the fence about the theory.”
This softening of the horror of abortion by referring to research that questions the reality of fetal pain may give some women the out they are looking for to have a late term abortion.
But 20 weeks is the 5th month of pregnancy. At this point the baby is about 7 ½ inches long and weighs almost a pound. Moms can feel their babies kicking, turning, or hiccuping and may see the bulge of an elbow or the baby’s head on their abdomen.
I’ve tried to find reports of babies surviving birth at this stage. It would be extremely rare. But some babies have survived when their birth weight is less than a pound.
The point is, it doesn’t matter whether “researchers are on the fence about the theory” of fetal pain. The truth is that life begins at conception–not once the baby has traveled down the birth canal as ardent abortion advocates want to claim. Life begins at conception, not birth. Birth is simply one stage of ongoing human development.. It must be concluded that abortion takes the life of the unborn. This is the truth we must continue to declare.