First Things reports:
The just-concluded session of the Montana Legislature sent Governor
Steve Bullock the “Montana Unborn Child Pain and Suffering Prevention
Act” (HB 479), which would have set the anesthetization of any unborn
child twenty weeks gestation or older prior to abortion as standard
policy. State Representative Albert Olszewski, who introduced the bill,
is himself pro-life, but he presented the bill as a possible consensus
measure: if a fetus is a sentient biological being and might be
able to experience pain, shouldn’t we do what we can to alleviate that
potential pain? Wouldn’t taking the measure of anesthetizing a five
month old or older fetus prior to abortion say something at least about our humanity, if not his?
should be noted that the bill itself was further watered down during
the legislative process: the original bill required anesthetization
prior to abortion but—so as not to interfere with Roe’s “right
to abortion,” any woman could exempt herself from the requirement. In
the end, the bill simply set a state default position: absent the
gravida opting out, state policy would have been that abortions
performed in the middle of the second trimester and beyond be preceded
by anesthesia of the fetus.
The federal “Pain Capable Unborn Child
Protection Act” (HR 1797) which passed the House of Representatives
June 18 and is pending in the U.S. Senate, takes a far less agnostic
position about the capacity of a 20 week old unborn child—in whom every
organ has been in place for at least 12 weeks and brain waves detectable
for 13—to experience excruciating pain during abortion which, at this
stage of pregnancy, essentially involves dismemberment. The federal law
bans such abortions outright; the Montana bill would simply have put the
force of State policy—a policy any pregnant woman could waive—behind
anesthetizing the fetus prior to dismemberment. The federal law makes
performance of such abortions at so late a stage of pregnancy criminally
punishable; the Montana bill would simply have stripped the abortionist
of his professional license.
Consensus was not to be had: 20 of the Senate’s 21 Democrats still voted “no.”
Has abortion become such a fundamental right to women that the pain of the infant is of no concern? Have we become so jealous of rights that the pain of others inflicted in the exercise of those rights no longer merits any attention? The story takes place in Montana -- not hardly the liberal diehard of a California but still the right of the mother is the sacred cow upon which no one dare infringe or give second thought.
What ever happened to the medical call to at least do no harm? We are jealous about monkeys and their rights (remember that at the time two monkeys were awaiting a court decision to see if they had been illegally detained). We refuse tuna captured at harm to dolphins. We insist that dogs and cats be treated humanely. We even are concerned that plants might have feelings. Apparently, none of this counts with respect to the fetus hacked up into pieces in the mother's womb in the most brutal forms of abortion known as D&E
(Dilation and Evacuation) procedures and partial birth abortion.
We are truly valueless if the pain and suffering of the child in the womb counts for nothing but the rights of animals do. It is no wonder that society is at war. What remains the haunting question, however, is how anyone can justify this pain. Whether or not you are pro-life, at the very least our humanity shows in our concern for the suffering of the unborn. We refuse to allow methods of execution that cause the victim pain and suffering; can we do any less for the infant whose mother has deemed the child's life expendable?