Bringing humanity back to the abortion debate

This is the next stage in the great abortion debates.


Mark A. Theissen Washington Post

Can an unborn child feel pain?

That question will dominate the abortion debate in America for the next several years thanks to Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska. Last week, Heineman signed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law, banning abortions in Nebraska at and after 20 weeks based on growing scientific evidence that an unborn child at that age can feel pain.

The legislation was enacted as a defensive measure. After the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller, a physician named LeRoy Carhart declared his intention to carry on Tiller’s work at his Bellevue, Neb., clinic. State legislators did not want Nebraska to become the country’s late-term abortion capital — so they voted 44-5 to stop him.

The new law will probably spark a Supreme Court showdown, because it directly challenges one of the key tenets of Roe v. Wade — that “viability” (the point at which an unborn child can survive outside the womb, generally held to be at 22 to 24 weeks) is the threshold at which states can ban abortion. In defending the law, Nebraska will ask the high court to take into account scientific research since Roe and push the legal threshold back further.

Read the entire article on the Washington Post website.


  1. Excellent way to frame the issues and restrict this murderous practice.

  2. George Michalopulos :

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve always felt that Roe v. Wade was a bundle of inherent contradictions (“viability,” etc.), inevitably failing on its own merits. Much like Dred Scott or Plessy v. Ferguson.

  3. Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

    “Viability” is a construct drawn out of thin air. No living organism is viable outside of its natural environment. Demanding that a baby be capable of living outside of the womb unaided is like asking you or me to live under water without air. The womb is the natural environment of the unborn child and, if left unmolested, it will be ready to enter a new one a mere nine months later.

    That viability has scientific corroboration is even more ludicrous. The better our neo-natal care becomes, the more the point of “viability” moves closer to conception, which is to say the better skilled we are at saving preemies.

    Another disgrace is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aggressive promotion of abortion to other nations, especially the Third World. It’s the foulest cultural imperialism I have seen in a while. (It ranks up there with exporting pornography in my opinion.) Imagine if someone from, say, Rwanda, came here to tell us to abort our offspring. Thankfully some Canadians told her, in so many words, to shut up when she tried to push abortion there a few weeks ago. Good move Canada.

  4. The photo and story behind baby Samuel Armas (linked to the post) rocked my soul.

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