Pending UT Legislation: The “Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act”

Friday, March 6, 2009

From United Families Utah:

Because we believe that every stage of human life from the moment of conception to natural death is entitled to protection under the law, we ask for your support of House Bill 222, the “Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act”.

This bill would require a Utah physician performing an abortion to inform a woman more than 20 weeks along that the fetus may feel pain, and offer her an anesthetic or analgesic to alleviate the fetus’ pain before the abortion is performed. Helping a woman make a more informed decision could affect both her life and the life of her unborn child forever!

Please contact your Senator and ask them to VOTE IN FAVOR of HB222, the “Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act” bill.

Talking Points:

  • Utah is not breaking new legal ground with this bill. Several other states have similar laws (Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Oklahoma). In addition, abortion counseling materials in Alaska, South Dakota and Texas mention fetal pain.
  • Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue stated, “The Woman’s Right to Know is a common-sense approach to a sensitive issue. It gives us the proper respect and value for all life”.
  • The Oklahoma law (in addition to offering fetal pain information) also gives the woman “the option of seeing a sonogram of her fetus prior to undergoing an abortion.”
  • The Louisiana law requires a brochure be given to the mother explaining, “…Anesthesia is routinely administered to unborn children who are 20 weeks’ gestational age or older who undergo prenatal surgery.”
  • Renowned pediatrician Dr. “Sunny” Anand reported to the US District Court in California, “Between weeks 20 and 30, an unborn child has more pain receptors per square inch than at any other time, before or after birth, with only a very thin layer of skin for protection.”
  • Noted Canadian physician Dr. Will Johnston stated, “Measuring pain response in the fetus is not easy. They can’t self-report, just as babies can’t. But by every measure possible—facial grimace, withdrawal, release of stress hormones, change in pulse rate, breathing, & blood pressure—they behave as we would. And as Dr. Anand has said, ‘In the absence of absolute proof we should give the fetus the benefit of the doubt if we are going to call ourselves compassionate and humane’.”
  • Utah offers a sedative drug to condemned inmates before they are put to death. We should do at least the same for an unborn child.


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