You might see this bumper sticker (along with many others) while out and about in New Orleans. Most likely, the driver of the vehicle displaying this presumptuous assertion about my mother or any reader’s mother is anti-abortion and a supporter of overturning Roe v. Wade.
What I find ironic is that if this person had had his or her way, my mother would not have had a choice. No woman would have a choice. The very terminology this person uses to support his or her argument – the idea that I exist solely due to a choice that my mother made and therefore it is the correct choice – would not exist in the world he or she would like to live in.
The corresponding bumper sticker in the Roe-v.-Wade-less world would be:
“Birth. Your Mother Had No Other Choice.”And that world could start here. No doubt in an attempt to make a run to overturn Roe v. Wade, Louisiana legislators in the House and Senate have introduced bills that would either ban all abortions or make an exception for the life of the mother. While these would not go into effect until Roe v. Wade was overturned, another bill addressing fetal pain has been proposed to make abortions more difficult today:
A House committee advanced legislation Wednesday aimed at getting pregnant women to ditch thoughts of having an abortion.It was rewritten because the original bill “required the fetus to be anesthetized by the physician performing the abortion for the purpose of preventing fetal pain.”
Doctors would have to inform a woman of the potential pain a fetus could experience in an abortion under a rewritten House Bill 582 by Rep. A.G. Crowe, R-Pearl River.
Bluey, the Body Rights Thingamabob, would not be pleased. Nor would the authors of certain peer-reviewed scientific research, like in JAMA:
Evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester. Little or no evidence addresses the effectiveness of direct fetal anesthetic or analgesic techniques. Similarly, limited or no data exist on the safety of such techniques for pregnant women in the context of abortion. Anesthetic techniques currently used during fetal surgery are not directly applicable to abortion procedures.Or BMJ:
Although still immature, the neural circuitry necessary for processing pain can be considered complete by 26 weeks' gestation, he explains. However, pain experience requires not only development of the brain but also development of the mind to accommodate the subjectivity of pain.I shall let Bluey and the scientists do the talking for me, except to say that abortion is good.
Development of the mind only occurs outside the womb, through the actions of the infant and interactions with primary caregivers.
So, not only is the biological development to support pain experience ongoing, but the environment after birth, so necessary to the development of pain experience, is also yet to occur, he says. As such, fetuses cannot experience pain.