- The Washington Times - Friday, April 23, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Thank you for your April 16 editorial endorsing the new Nebraska legislation prohibiting most abortions after 20 weeks of gestation (“Abortion isn’t painless,” Comment & Analysis).

The ability of the fetus to feel pain has had overwhelming scientific supporting evidence for decades. Indeed, in a Nov. 19, 1987, New England Journal of Medicine editorial by Anne Fletcher on a paper making the case for fetal and neonatal pain, the author wrote: “At Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington … anesthesia is now being used in virtually all neonatal surgery.”

The Nebraska legislature has made a giant step for the preborn - one that was lost with the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision permitting abortion throughout pregnancy. The legislature also passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, which specifies the duty of abortionists to screen women for risk factors that research shows will increase their chance of having physical or psychological complications from abortion. It is the first law in the country that allows women to sue abortionists for negligent pre-abortion screening and counseling.

The law lifts abortion screening and counseling from the “back alley” to the same standard of care as every other surgery and ensures that women are not being coerced into having abortions. This is a step toward restoring the dignity of women. Even those considering abortions deserve the facts so they can make informed decisions.

JOHN NAUGHTON

Silver Spring, Md.

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