Why No Abortions After 20 Weeks


20 week fetus

Why No Abortions After 20 Weeks

In this article we are going to share why abortions should not occur after 20 weeks based upon testimony by Dr. Colleen A. Malloy. Dr. Colleen A. Malloy, an associate professor in the Division of Neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, testified before the US. Senate Judiciary Committee regarding fetal development and the potential of fetuses (unborn babies) experiencing pain after 20 weeks. This is equivalent to 22 weeks in the dating system commonly employed in obstetrics and neonatology, which counts pregnancy as beginning at the time of the last menstrual period-the “LMP” system. (In this article, for the sake of clarity we will using the PCA, post conceptional age which is LMP less 2 weeks, which is what most understand.)

Survival Rate of Fetus (Unborn baby)
With the advancement of In utero imaging, blood sampling, and fetal surgery, we now have a much better understanding of life in the womb and of fetal and neonatal pain.
It is easy for us to imagine the lives of infants past 20 weeks. They are kicking, moving, reacting, and developing right before our eyes in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Survival at 20 weeks 10% chance of living., 21 weeks 53%, 22 weeks 67%, 23 weeks 82%, and 24 weeks 85%. We can easily witness their humanity,

Neonatal Pain
There is ample biologic evidence physiologic, hormonal, and behavioral evidence for fetal and neonatal pain. As early as 6 weeks, face skin receptors appear. At 12 weeks, sensory fibers grow into the spinal cord and connect with the thalamus. At 14 weeks, monoamine fibers reach the cerebral cortex, so that by 18 weeks the thalamo-cortical relays penetrate the cortex. In fact, by 20 weeks by LMP, the fetal brain has the full complement of neurons that are present in adulthood.

When procedures such as intravenous line placement, intramuscular injection, or chest tube insertion are performed on a neonate at 20-24 weeks LMP, the response is similar to that seen in an older infant or child. We know that even at 6 weeks, the fetus makes movements in response to stimuli. At 18 weeks the fetus begins to respond to sound, and many mothers report increased fetal movement in response to music, sirens, or alarms. At 20 weeks in utero, a fetus will respond to pain (intrahepatic needling, for example) with the same pain behaviors as older babies: scrunching up the eyes, opening the mouth, clenching hands, withdrawal of limbs. In addition, stress hormones rise substantially with painful blood puncture beginning at 16 weeks gestation. Opioid analgesia markedly reduced these responses.
(Above information gathered from https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/03-15-16%20Malloy%20Testimony.pdf.)

It is very clear that at 20 weeks fetuses (unborn babies) are feeling pain. It is also very clear that starting at 20 weeks there is the potential of a fetus to live outside the womb and that chance increases enormously each week after 20 weeks, with an 85% chance of survival after 24 weeks. It should be clear to every reader, regardless of their position on abortion, that after 24 weeks, abortion is truly the killing of a viable human being.

MY APPEAL
If you are 20 weeks into your pregnancy and you are considering an abortion, Iappeal to you to reconsider. I understand there may be some very strong reasons why you are considering an abortion. Understandable reasons. But your decision has eternal consequences. Please give  a call 24/7 at 1-866-926-8463. 1-866-WANTGOD. We have people to listen to your story.

If you have had an abortion this must be very hard for you to read. You may have guilt, shame, condemnation, and believe God hates you. I want to assure you that is not the case. He instead wants to comfort you. Please give a call 24/7 at 1-866-926-8463. 1-866-WANTGOD. We have people to encourage you.

I judge no one who has obtained an abortion. I had my own child aborted.

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