Fetal Pain

I heard on the radio today that Utah's House bill 222 requires doctors to tell those people who want an abortion 24 hours in advance that their fetus can feel pain, and also to provide them the option of giving the fetus anesthesia. This raises some questions in my mind.

First of all, let me say that being pregnant has solidified my conviction that voluntary abortions are wrong. My church's official stance is that even though there are some very rare cases when abortion can be the morally right thing to do (rape or definite imminent threat of death to the mother), even in those cases "do not automatically justify an abortion. Those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer"

Second, the idea that there are real people who can honestly believe that fetuses do not feel pain feels completely absurd to me. I am not a scientist, but I can feel the baby inside me moving. If I stand up, or change positions, she will move, too. We saw her drinking the amniotic fluid during the ultrasound a few days ago. She can hear my voice. She's not just a blob of cells. She's a living being. She is a person, and I am sure she can feel pain.

My first reaction to this bill was, "Well, this is as good idea because women who understand that their baby can feel pain will be less likely to get an abortion." In general, I feel like anything that will reduce the number of abortions is a good thing.

Later, I looked at some comments on the Deseret News blog - they were mostly unintelligent, but there was one idea that struck me: if you claim that a fetus can feel pain, you are calling it a person. Allowing this person to be aborted is allowing lawful murder.

I think that abortions are murder, and they should be made illegal. Does condoning this bill mean that I am contradicting my personal beliefs about who is a person? I still feel inclined to support the bill because I do think it will reduce abortions, which, while not as good as eliminating them, is still a step in the right direction. What do you think, though?