Reconsidering Fetal Pain

According to research, preborn babies as early as 7.5 weeks will move to avoid unpleasant sensations, emit stress hormones, and experience an increase in heart rate and cerebral blood flow. As bioethicist Dr. Bridget Thrill concluded, “Denial of fetal pain capacity beginning in the first trimester, potentially as early as 8–12 weeks gestation, is no longer tenable.”

Babies have also been observed attempting to escape procedures designed to kill them. We always should have known better, but we can’t say we don’t know anymore.

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