NRL News

What’s Airing on Pro-Life Perspective Today? “A Closer Look at the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, Part 2”

by | Jan 11, 2012

By Dave Andrusko


Olivia Gans

What an amazing coincidence. Today, Pro-Life Perspective co-host Olivia Gans talks with Mary Spaulding Balch, NRLC director of state legislation about post-Roe v. Wade developments, particularly the impact of ultrasounds/sonograms. And just this morning a  three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Texas’ new sonogram law. (See “Court of Appeals Lifts Temporary Injunction Against Texas Sonogram Law.”)

Mrs. Balch explains step by step how medical technology has helped to make “massive changes in what we know about the unborn” in the nearly 39 years since Roe was handed down.

She points out that it was not until 1975 that neonatology became a specialty. With the increased use of ultrasound a “window on the womb” was opened, allowing doctors to see some maladies in utero, such as spina bifida that could be addressed pre-birth.

Enter another new specialty: fetal surgery (and fetal anesthesiology). Mrs. Balch explained at that point doctors discovered that “the unborn child would react to painful stimuli.”

This helped launch a wider investigation into the capacity of the unborn child to experience pain. “Several studies have shown that when the unborn child is given some sort of painful stimuli he or she will recoil and a stress hormone released indicative of pain,” Balch said. This is the backbone of the case for the five Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Laws that have been passed, and which will be a priority for NRLC and its state affiliates in 2012.

Ultrasounds have confirmed that “abortion”  is about someone, not something, Gans explained. With  their advent it is now routine “to see pictures of ultrasound images on our refrigerators.”

There is much, much more in today’s discussion about how to keep the unborn child at the center of the discussion. If you missed yesterday’s broadcast you can listen to it at

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Categories: NRLC