You see, ACOG, the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, does not agree with science and has even denied science stating that “science” proves a preborn baby feels pain at 20 weeks not before.” ACOG says a baby feels pain at 24 weeks. ACOG writes, “A human fetus does not have the capacity to experience pain until after viability. Rigorous scientific studies have found that the connections necessary to transmit signals from peripheral sensory nerves to the brain, as well as the brain structures necessary to process those signals, do not develop until at least 24 weeks of gestation.i Because it lacks these connections and structures, the fetus does not even have the physiological capacity to perceive pain until at least 24 weeks of gestation. In fact, the perception of pain requires more than just the mechanical transmission and reception of signals. Pain is “an emotional and psychological experience that requires conscious recognition of a noxious stimulus.”ii This capacity does not develop until the third trimester at the earliest, well past the period between 20 weeks and viability. The evidence shows that the neural circuitry necessary to distinguish touch from painful touch does not, in fact, develop until late in the third trimester. The occurrence of intrauterine fetal movement is not an indication that a fetus can feel pain.iii”
1: Pain receptors (nociceptors) are present throughout the unborn child’s entire body by no later than 20 weeks after fertilization and nerves link these receptors to the brain’s thalamus and subcortical plate by no later than 20 weeks.
a. Pain receptors (nociceptors) are present throughout the unborn child’s entire body by no later than 20 weeks.
1. Myers, 2004, p.241, para.2, “The first essential requirement for nociception is the presence of sensory receptors, which first develop in the perioral area at approximately 7 weeks gestation and are diffusely located throughout the body by 14 weeks.95”
Myers LB, Bulich LA, Hess, P, Miller, NM. Fetal endoscopic surgery: indications and anaesthetic management. Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology. 18:2 (2004) 231-258.
95Smith S. Commission of Inquiry into Fetal Sentience. London: CARE, 1996.”