Fetal Pain

late-term abortion: the grim reality

The prevalence of late-term abortions during the second and third trimesters is experiencing an upward trend. In 2020, the United States witnessed a staggering 40,000 such atrocities, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control. Despite the pivotal reversal of Roe v. Wade through the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision, numerous states continue to allow abortions throughout all nine months. 

Even in states advocating a pro-life stance, the possibility of later-term abortion persists through the phenomenon of "abortion tourism" — wherein mothers travel to other states for abortions. Almost 7 in 10 voters support at least some limits on abortion procedures based on a baby’s stage of development. 
Arm yourself and your peers with fetal pain facts and inspire others to oppose later-term abortion extremism!


Above: Watch the video of a third trimester baby reacting to the painful stimulus of an anesthetic injection prior to in-utero surgery. [8]

fetal pain capability timeline

7 Weeks

Sensory receptors begin forming.  [2] 

Free nerve endings, which sense painful stimuli, begin developing at this point. The neural pathways for pain perception are present via the thalamus as early as 7 weeks. [3] 

8 Weeks

Synapses begin developing within the spinal cord. [2]  

By this point, the preborn child reacts to touch. She makes movements away from stimuli to the area around her developing mouth. [1]

12 Weeks

Neural pathways for pain perception via the cortical subplate are present. [2,4]  
Preborn humans may experience pain as early as 12 weeks, according to a comprehensive review of the scientific literature about neural development, the psychology of pain, and moral implications of fetal pain. This unbiased review was published by two highly-credentialed medical professionals—and one of them is pro-choice. [2]

15 Weeks

The fetus is “extremely sensitive to painful stimuli.” She would receive pain medication if she needed surgery from this week onward. [5] 
From this point onward, the standard of medical care for preborn humans calls for direct fetal analgesia and anesthesia during surgery. Current medical evidence concludes that it is “necessary to apply adequate analgesia to prevent [fetal] suffering.” [2]

20 Weeks

Pain receptors are present throughout all of the body. [2] 

At this point, pain receptors are now developed throughout all the skin and surfaces of the preborn human. She has nerves that link each of these receptors to the brain now, and reacts to stimuli outside the womb like light, sound, and touch. [1,6]

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[1] doctorsonfetalpain.com  
[2] https://lozierinstitute.org/fact-sheet-science-of-fetal-pain/  
[3] PubMed  
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8935428/  
[5] https://www.dovepress.com/appearance-of-fetal-pain-could-be-associated-with-maturation-of-the-me-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-JPR  
[6] https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/86/1/104/2841108?  
[7] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/ss/ss7110a1.htm?s_cid=ss7110a1_w 
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7850725/