After I posted Marco Rosaire Rossi‘s piece criticizing the pro-life atheist groups (from the latest issue of The Humanist) a few days ago, there were a lot of commenters agreeing that the groups in question really were anti-science, as the headline suggested.
Next, we get to fetal pain, where Rossi begins by stating that there is “no clear consensus from doctors or medical researchers as to when a fetus feels pain.” He then goes on to cite two studies suggesting that the ability to feel pain comes at the later end of pregnancy (29-30 weeks and 35-37 weeks, respectively), while citing none of the research suggesting an earlier stage of development. Finally, he bashes Secular Pro-Life for failing to recognize the “medical consensus” on fetal pain.
Rossi concludes by celebrating the fact that 25% of Americans support his view that abortion should be legal in all circumstances. He would also like to claim the 51% who support abortion in “certain” circumstances, to create a pro-choice majority. That’s highly problematic, since “certain circumstances” would include people who only support abortion in cases where the mother’s life is in danger (such as myself). Rossi’s abortion-until-birth position– which, even accepting his favored studies, would allow for abortions on pain-capable unborn babies — is extreme. It will continue to fall out of favor as groups like Secular Pro-Life work to educate the public.
You can read the rest of the rebuttal here. You all can debate who’s right and wrong in the comments while I get some rest after a loooooong first week back at school.