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Friday, 25 June 2010

24-week abortion limit debate

I was shocked to hear this morning that a study has found no new evidence that foetuses of 24-weeks and younger can feel pain, and hence it has suggested that there is no reason to challenge the existing abortion limit.

The story struck a real chord with Mrs B and I as we are now 24-weeks along in our own pregnancy and, to us, the wonderful, growing, kicking, moving person that we can now see and feel isn't a foetus at all, he or she is our baby.

Responding to sounds, movement and even the flavours of food and drink that Mrs B consumes, our baby is developing its own personality. We can tell when he or she is awake, we can detect movements and can watch as a tiny foot or hand kicks or punches.

We have also read with interest numerous websites that have suggested such things as consuming very cold drinks to encourage your baby to move. While we haven't tried this ourselves - we find a glass of OJ does the trick - it's clear that it must work for lots of mums out there. So, if a 24-week old foetus can detect cold to such an extent that it will move around, how can anyone be 100% sure that it cannot feel pain.

While I don't wish to stroll across the moral abortion minefield in this blog post, I do feel that this debate is one that needs to be explored more thoroughly. On a purely personal level, meanwhile, I cannot imagine how anyone can consider a termination after experiencing wonders like that which we are currently witnessing and feeling with our own ever-growing bump.

Sometimes science does not provide all the answers.

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