AUSTIN, TX – How much pain can a fetus feel? That’s the question behind a new round of debates on abortion. Texas law currently bans abortion in the 28th week of pregnancy. However, a new bill to ban abortion after the 20th week has brought pro-life and pro-choice lawmakers to a yet another heated fight over scientific evidence.
In one corner, the bill’s author, republican State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, showing studies suggesting that a 20-week-old fetus can experience pain. In the other corner, democratic State Rep. Jessica Farrar, bringing contradicting data published in a 2005 journal of the American Medical Association arguing that pain perception probably doesn’t exist before 29 or 30 weeks. Who is right and who is wrong? A vote will decide.
Ten other states have recently passed similar legislation, although several have been legally challenged. The House State Affairs Committee is hearing testimonies at the moment. Without a doubt the process is going to be painful.