The latest in abortion insanity

This one really has to be seen to be believed. A new abortion-related law has been passed in Utah:

The details are in the article, including that doctors tend to disagree with the scientific basis for fetuses of that age being able to feel pain. Sounds skeevy to me, but whatever. But here’s the kicker:

(emphasis mine)

So, even given the contested assumption that the fetus is able to feel pain, it’s alright for some fetuses to get painkillers but not others??? I just have to wonder if there are some connections missing in certain conservative minds.

One of the major problems for “pro-life” people is that they have to either support killing a baby for crimes its father committed, or forcing a woman to carry her rapist’s baby to term. Both of these are horrible things that moral people can’t abide, so there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance required to get around the issue. I think this sort of law comes from dealing with that dichotomy, that they feel like the fetus of a rapist is somehow different than any other fetus, so it doesn’t actually count as a baby, so it’s fine to kill it, oh and if it’s not a baby it doesn’t need painkillers either.

Yes, we protested quite vigorously against this insane law. There’s no evidence whatsoever that a 20 week old fetus can feel pain. It’s pretty clear that the fetal nervous system hasn’t developed sufficiently to feel pain until 27 weeks, and even the most conservative folks say 24 weeks is a fine cutoff for them. Prior to 24 weeks it is a mindless lump of tissue, at some vague time after that, it slowly develops a brain.
It is, however, quite clear that giving anesthesia to adult women can and does cause severe complications and death in some cases. It is also expensive.

I personally spoke to the person who sponsored this law, a male GOP, never been pregnant, cannot ever be pregnant, no medical training, and he spewed a series of profanities at me that I wish I had illegally recorded.

Anyway, the only possible outcomes of this law are that a) women who cannot find their way to an abortion clinic prior to 20 weeks will be subjected to possible disability and/or death for no medical reason, and if they survive will have to pay hefty bills for the totally unnecessary drugs, and I hope anyone forced to undergo this will sue the state of Utah;

b) doctors will refuse to perform abortions after 20 weeks due to the fact that they cannot figure out how to comply with the bizarre law and are worried about killing healthy women, so we will end up with a small number of women forced to carry dying fetuses with chromosomal abnormalities or other serious birth defects to term, causing incredible suffering;

or c) a concern many doctors raised, is that under this vague law, all women giving birth in Utah will have to be placed under general anesthesia in case the fetus suffers any pain, which will cause a drastic uptick in the maternal and stillborn rates.

That’s what happens when you let male GOP politicians play woman’s doctor.

Utah’s a one-party state (in more ways than one). What would have been illegal about recording your conversation with him?

I don’t really see a debate, here.

Off to The BBQ Pit.

Because, naturally, babies born of rape/incest are inherently filled with sin and deserve to suffer.

I did a quick Google and the most preemie babies were both born at 21weeks, 5 days. 24 weeks is definitely more than a lump of tissue. I’m going to assume that a viable fetus is able to feel pain. You may want to have a look at a fetal development chart. I think your timeline is somewhat off.

“Viable” is a purely technological definition; it just means medical science can sometimes keep it alive. It has nothing to do with them being fully functional organisms.

At any rate the evidence is against it being possible, they don’t have the right parts yet.

Well, suspending the bill’s sponsor by his heels over a vat of boiling oatmeal while making the recording probably would have been illegal (even if he did deserve it).

How come they are talking about abortions on 20 week old fetuses? Those only happen under the most extreme and rare of circumstances.

Abortions are done , when they are done, around 7 weeks, when there is not yet a baby rather an embryo.

Just how much more expensive would anaestesia make the procedure?

Because they like to pretend that it’s common, and done for trivial reasons.

Nobody has any idea *how *to do it, except maybe putting the woman herself under. Which is dangerous to her as well as unnecessary, I’ll point out.

But given that, it would presumably cost as much as general anesthesia before surgery does. Along with the money needed to get the needed equipment & drugs and hire a professional anesthesiologist. I’ve no idea how much all that costs though.

I am pretty sure that general anesthesia doesn’t affect the fetus. I had an emergency C-section under general, and was told my son came out red and screaming. This is apparently common.

Because it allows them to chip away at abortion rights a little bit at a time. If 20 weeks is approved, next year they will try for 19 weeks. Let’s call it “testing the waters” before diving in. If they can get away with 20, is 18 so hard? We’ve already agreed on the principle, now all we have to decide is the exact number.

Do you have a cite for this? I assume we are talking about the US.


Bad assumption. WhyBaby was born at 23 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, making her 21 weeks, 6 days gestation. She is one of the earliest micropreemies to survive (and she’s 11 now and doing wonderfully, thanks for asking) She showed no indication of feeling pain for several weeks, even through some rather painful procedures like intubation (for which they don’t routinely sedate micropreemies) and IV sticks and a central line and blood draws from her heels. No grimace, no cry, no turning of her head away from the source of stimulation. Not even the decorticate or decerebrate response that you see in someone in a coma.

If she’d needed to be euthanized for some reason, I would have asked for pain control for my sake, but not hers. It just feels wrong to do painful things to a baby, but actual science doesn’t always support our feelings.

Right around what would have been 27 weeks gestation is when her body language and vocalizations changed to clearly indicate pain. That’s also, coincidentally or not, the point at which a fetus is actually, meaningfully, “viable” without extraordinary measures like ventilators and IV (parenteral) nutrition. It’s still dicey, but it’s when your premature baby might survive even without hospital care.

It’s likely down to under 1% now, with the increase in antiabortion laws in the last few years.

8 years ago, it was 1.3% after 20 weeks.

Along with killing a baby is murder and doctors should be procecuted, but not the mothers that actually go in and request the procedure.

Can we please stop with these arguments that men cannot have valid opinions on abortion issues because we can’t get pregnant? If a woman had said the exact same thing, would it somehow be more relevant? Hell, just because a woman can get pregnant doesn’t mean she really understands anything about the medical, legal or ethical issues involved. In fact, that’s exactly WHY I support legalization of abortion, because I’m NOT a medical professional, and even knowing what I know, I know enough to know that the circumstances for any particular case are impossible to fit with a one-size-fits-all set of rules that any sort of anti-abortion law will inevitably create, without either being so convoluted as to be incomprehensible and useless, or likely making matters worse in other ways. It’s a decision that needs to be made within the context of the situation and with the woman and the medical professionals involved. Men are NOT the enemy, ignorance and assertion of one person’s moral judgments on another person are.

All of that said, this law looks ridiculously stupid. Even if one believes that abortion, or at least ones after some arbitrary point are an evil, based on the numbers, there are plenty of other evil things that are far more prevalent. Further, I hate the idea of the government requiring the doctor to say things that aren’t really backed up by medical evidence. Instead, I’d rather rely on the doctor understanding the specifics of the situation and the mother herself hopefully bearing some responsibility and doing a bit of research herself, not just taking a drug store pregnancy test, waiting a period of time for no particular reason, then showing up at the doctor and asking for a medical procedure will-nilly. We generally trust doctors to provide basic information, make an analysis about whether or not that person is a good candidate and receive informed consent for virtually every other procedure, why is this one so special?

Say it again for the people in the back.

To be fair, my impression has always been that generally pro-life people would rather not include these kinds of exceptions, but do so because pro-choice folks vocally bring up these sorts of cases as being philosophical reasons to allow abortion.

It’s not that there’s a pro-life disconnect, but rather a pragmatic thought that if baking in these exceptions makes it that much easier to get a law passed that heavily restricts abortions, then they’ll take it.