NRL News

Va. Delegate Tran, Va. Gov. Northam, and the reality of fetal pain

by | Aug 23, 2019

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. My family and I will be on our vacation through August 27. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked.

It would be difficult to exaggerate this one. Va. State Del. Kathy Tran’s abortion-on-demand through labor proposal has galvanized the pro-life community and forced the anti-life forces into their most creative misdirection, distortion, and out and out lies in many a year.

In case you somehow missed it, Del. Tran, previously most famous for breast feeding her baby on the floor of the Va. House of Delegates, readily conceded in response to questions by Del. Todd Gilbert that her “Repeal Act” would allow abortion up until the moment of birth.

Northam, now mired in a separate scandal, went on the number one rated radio show in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and shocked almost everyone not on the payroll of the abortion industry. He feinted that his support for Tran’s unlimited abortion bill was about babies with “severe deformities” and/or “not viable.” But Northam went even further. He calmly responded it’s up the mother and the abortionist to decide if a baby who survives an abortion is to be resuscitated.

But it shouldn’t be lost in the understandable and correct outrage over limitless abortion and infanticide that we are talking about huge babies who have already passed most developmental milestones.


Whenever the issue is raised, the news industry seeks out “experts” to assure them pro-lifers are just pumping out “junk science” (although I’m guessing even the hardest of the hard core might have trouble believing nearly full-term babies won’t experience unbelievable pain and agony while undergoing an abortion).

For example, take 2018 when Senate Democrats successfully prevented Republicans from cutting off a filibuster of the federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. (Sixty votes were needed to “invoke cloture” in order that there could be an up or down vote.)

At the time I hadn’t noticed but evidently Maggie Fox of NBC News had read twitter posts from a “doctor” and had decided to interview him after the Senate vote.

Fox can be very perceptive reporter, but is out of her element when she wanders into politics. For example, “the doctor just explained late-term abortion—on Twitter” is the virtually omnipresent Dr. Daniel Grossman.

Grossman is not some ordinary M.D. He is a nearly full-time abortion apologist who composes such convoluted half-truths it takes five times as much space to rebut them as for him to compose them.

For example, he tells Fox

“I really feel like it’s important for policymakers, legislators, to use the best available scientific evidence when they are making policy related to health. I also think it’s important for them to listen to the patients that are affected by this healthcare and neither of those things were done related to this recent bill.”

Small problem. Everything—everything—he told Fox is wrong. Demonstrably wrong. Wrong in the sense of being debunked years ago.

For instance, using data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, we’ve already posted many times that Guttmacher fully understand that the reasons women have “late abortions” are not (as Grossman says)

for many reasons…including a late diagnosis of a severe fetal abnormality that means it would not survive after birth, or be in severe pain.

Women may also need an abortion to save their lives.

“Many reasons,” yes, but reasons having to do with relationship problems, having other children, suffering from depression, or denying to themselves they are pregnant/putting off a decision.

But the principal gaffe—and it is colossal—is his breezy assurance that “Research has shown a fetus does not yet have the capacity to experience pain until at least the third trimester, and unlikely until birth.”

Birth?! Yikes. This is so over-the-top, so at odds with research as to be almost laughable. Grossman is presumably relying on the infamous (and nearly 14 year old) study in JAMA authored by pro-abortion activists, a canard which NRLC, among others, demolished.

But you kind of understand why Grossman says this nonsense when he adds, “There is some data to suggest that the fetus is kind of in a semi-anesthetized state throughout all of the pregnancy and that all of the perceptions are blunted.”

He’s probably referring to a 2010 “Fetal Awareness” paper issued by Britain’s Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (RCOG). As one neurologist said of the notion that the unborn child is not fully awake, “This belief has not been a topic on the radar screen of fetal pain discussions in recent years, and appears to come out of left field. It is hard to avoid the impression that the authors view this new proposal as a kind of scientific trump card.”

As so it goes. Grossman was and is sloppy and Fox can’t be bothered to even alert her readers to Grossman’s status as an abortionist and abortion apologist (or even correctly identify Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a Republican, not a Democrat).

Say this for the likes of Grossman and Fox. They keep us busy correcting their errors and omissions.

We have many more posts on the situation in Virginia today at National Right to Life News Today. Please read them and pass them on.

Categories: fetal pain
Tags: Pain