On Thursday, Arizona’s law forbidding abortion after 20 weeks went into effect. It prohibits abortions performed after the point at which science shows that the fetus can feel pain. The Arizona law was upheld by a court, and similar “fetal pain” bills are in the works in other states. A small victory, perhaps, but it does underscore the fact that the fetus in the womb is a human being. But pro-abortion zealots cannot tolerate even this small concession. Harvard law professor I. Glenn Cohen offers a different solution for fetal pain:
As proof that fetuses are capable of feeling pain, Nebraska’s law notes that physicians often administer anesthesia to fetuses. This is done to relax muscles or to prevent neurodevelopmental problems later on — not, medically speaking, to control pain. But if these fetuses were capable of feeling pain, administering anesthesia would likely prevent any sensation of pain, just as it does in children and adults. Thus, there is no legal reason to prohibit abortion at 20 weeks: We can prevent fetal pain during an abortion — without burdening a woman’s right to that abortion — by requiring the administration of anesthesia to the fetus.