Human foetus feels no pain before 24 weeks

The human foetus feels no pain before 24 weeks, according to a major review of scientific evidence…

The connections in the foetal brain are not fully formed in that time, nor is the foetus conscious, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The findings of two reports commissioned by the Department of Health strike a blow to those seeking to reduce the upper time limit for having an abortion, currently at 24 weeks.

The studies suggest that late abortions, permitted for serious abnormalities or risks to a woman’s health, do not result in foetal suffering because of increasing evidence that the chemical environment in the uterus induces “a continuous sleep-like unconsciousness or sedation”…

Even after 24 weeks, “it is difficult to say that the foetus experiences pain because this, like all other experiences, develops post-natally along with memory and other learned behaviours”…

Anti-abortion campaigners said the work did not challenge other arguments for a lower limit.

Other than the fact that anti-abortion arguments are limited almost exclusively to anti-scientific, religious humbug. And take no account of a woman’s right to choose to order her own life.

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