Laws based on fetal pain are being dressed with pseudoscience

10 years ago today my first son was born and 10 years ago today he died.

Born at 22 1/2 weeks he lived for three minutes, at least that’s what was written on the certificate that they gave me at the hospital. It seemed like both hours and seconds.

It was very anticlimactic in a way. I don’t say this to be trite, but it was as if his motor just stopped running. He was breathing, and then he took fewer breaths, and then he just wasn’t breathing anymore.

I think a lot about my son, mostly about what might have been. However, as more and more fetal pain laws are passed I find myself thinking about his actual death. How could I not?

Did he suffer?

What I know from embryology is that at 22 1/2 weeks gestational age the neural pathways for pain do not exist. This science is supported by what I’ve sadly seen as an OB/GYN witnessing deaths in the delivery room from extreme prematurity. This is also what I experienced first hand as a mother. There was no agony from extreme hypoxia and acidosis. No consciousness or awareness. Death just simply came.

So with the body of evidence indicating neural pathways for pain don’t exist at 22 1/2 weeks and comfort care for the extremely premature babies born to die being a blanket and much more about comforting the grieving parents than anything else, why this push for fetal pain?

I suppose there is good press to be had, but deep down I believe that fetal pain has become a proxy for the religious concept of a soul.

Most of the anti-choice legislation in the United States comes from the religious right, a very fire and brimstone set who seem to thrive on the concept of heaven and hell. If they’re going to get you to go to church, you have to be worried about eternal salvation not just living a good life. To be eligible for eternal salvation, you need a soul.

But there is no science behind the concept of a soul, it is a purely religious construct.

So then when does the soul appear? It seems somewhat awkward and rather unecclesiastic to pick a random gestational age, such as 22 weeks, so I see how many who are on the religious right default to the concept that “life” begins at conception. But that is a non secular definition and we are supposed to have separation of church and state.

I believe in freedom of religion, so anyone who believes in heaven or hell and a soul should go right on believing that. I truly do. But those are not my beliefs.

I believe in living a good life.

I believe in being kind and helpful.

I believe in wonderful memories and terribly painful ones.

I believe we are capable of making our own lives heavenly and hellish, but I don’t believe such a place exists as an afterlife.

I believe the rewards of living a good life are laughter, smiles, friendship, and love. These are things that are experienced in the here and now.

Laws based on fetal pain do nothing except impose the religious beliefs of the majority on the minority, and I take offense. Dressing up these laws with ribbons of pseudoscience only makes them more offensive.

My son did not suffer and for that I am thankful. Science tells me this and no amount of legislation can change that fact.

Jennifer Gunter is an obstetrician-gynecologist and author of The Preemie Primer. She blogs at her self-titled site, Dr. Jen Gunter.

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  • John C. Key MD

    I have not walked a mile in your moccasins, but it seems that you have a sad, hopeless, and even selfish perspective. I hope it brings you satisfaction and solace, but I would not recommend it to others.

  • Chris

    The majority of American women are not in favor of killing late-term babies. Most of these women are not the cartoonish “fire and brimstone” “religious right” type you portray the “anti-choice” (to use your phrase) set to be.

    There is plenty of support for “safe, legal and rare” abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy, but start defending monsters who partially deliver fully-formed late-second and third trimester babies and either decapitate their living breathing bodies or stick scissors into their skulls and suck their still-living brains out, and you’re not actually going to find a lot of people in the real world who are going to defend your “choice” to do that.

    You say your son was too young to feel pain. So would you have been cool with it if someone had stuck scissors in his neck and cut his spinal cord while he was still alive? Or smashed his skull in, or torn him limb from limb?

    If we were to slaughter puppies, kittens, baby whales or baby seals the way we do 20+ week humans, PETA would be on the warpath.

    I truly think that those who want to protect women’s right to abortion need to focus on the first trimester, and stop trying to defend the “right” to brutally dismember, decapitate and kill late-term babies on demand. The support just isn’t there, and it really creeps people out.

    • Stacerella

      Thank you for speaking for ALL women, Chris. We really don’t appreciate it.

      • Guest

        Chris is technically correct when s/he points out that the majority of American women are not in favor abortions after 20 weeks.

        From the Washington Examiner:

        Poll: Majority of women support 20-week ban on abortion

        “A new Quinnipiac poll shows that sixty percent of women support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

        “The poll gives respondents a choice between a ban on abortions after 20 weeks or a ban on abortions after 24 weeks – giving them a chance to indicate their support for or against late-term abortions.

        “Sixty-percent of women said that they preferred a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, while only 25 percent chose the 24 week ban.

        “Nine percent of the respondents volunteered a statement saying that abortion should never be legal. Only one percent of woment volunteered that abortion should always be legal.”

        So while it’s true that most women are in favor of abortion up to a certain point (only 9% disagree), most women don’t support abortions past 20 weeks.

        • Guest

          But what in blazes does that have to do with the article?

          Most people who are pro CHOICE are just that: pro CHOICE. Very very few are pro abortion, so drop the agenda and jump down off your soap box. Save it for church.

          • Guest

            This article was pushing for the idea that aborting babies after 20 weeks is fine, since (in the author’s opinion) they can’t feel pain. The author then went on to describe anyone who didn’t want to kill 20+ week babies in very derogatory and bigoted terms.

            Most women do not agree. The 60% of women who want abortion after 20 weeks banned are not “fire and brimstone” religious zealots or extreme right-wingers.

          • SarahJ89

            You do realize that late-term abortions are performed due to conditions such as anacephalous and other fatal or horribly ending scenarios, right? Right?

          • Disqus_37216b4O

            Sometimes they are. Often they’re not.

      • Alice Robertson

        Please don’t miss the point in Chris’ post. It appears those who would support abortion should be consistent and support infanticide. Why should the womb be the deciding factor? Heck babies cry a lot and really get on our nerves. Why can’t I kill it after it’s born? It’s a fair question. Location of a baby should not be the legal decision maker.

        • Guest

          Dr. Peter Singer does argue that it should be a woman’s right to kill a child up until the age of two.

          • Alice Robertson

            Well he is consistent. He also promotes bestiality. There is a very funny video online of his appearance on Tv in, I believe, Australia and he really thinks if Fido feels amorous and the owner then go to it:) It’s so odd to see him promote an animal getting all their desires fulfilled and a not a child in or out of the womb, yet he elevates animals to a level of protectionism. Animals rights above human rights. Go figure!

          • Disqus_37216b4O

            I have never worked out whether Singer actually believes the things he says and writes, or whether he’s just being a gad-fly.

        • Guest

          Ha! If the well being of children was so important to you then why do you advocate against vaccines?

          It’s because you operate based on emotion rather than science and rationale.

          • Alice Robertson

            It’s because I really do believe vaccines given to a child with a predisposition to a reaction is ill served and like my two year old cousin that a vaccine killed I don’t like to see children killed by their mother or a doctor. Both are free from the consequences of the law because an aborting mom is legally fine, and doctors are immune from damages because there is funding made available to those who can prove the shot harmed their child (but it’s usually much less than the family needs and some shots are cultured in aborted baby parts)

            I was in the ghetto today helping a mom with the child she was told to abort. Life is rough, but she rejoices in that child and he brings her much joy. It’s rewarding to see that a druggie teen who got pregnant and the father killed before his son was born….but now time shows that the grown child is grateful to be here and rejoice in the beautiful Christian girlfriend God has sent him. They are extremely pro-life and anti-vaccine also.

          • Guest

            So why does God allow some children to be aborted? If we have a loving and all powerful God why does he allow abortion to exist at all?

          • Alice Robertson

            God? I thought abortion was an act of freewill on the mother’s part?

          • Guest

            So God creates beautiful babies but monstrous humans abort them? Is that your claim?

          • Alice Robertson

            Well ….I am really glad you asked. It is a good question. What God did was send his son here to die for our sins because He knew we are/were sinners. And that’s what an aborting mother is. A sinner…like me….the only difference would be in repentance, in redemption, and sanctification. I just find murder of the most innocent on this earth something I will passionately work towards ending or preventing. I don’t want a society that endorses murder of an innocent child (the shedding of innocent blood is how scripture words it and the Ten Commandments is pretty clear…God doesn’t want a mother to do such an act as murdering her child that is in what is supposed to be the safest place on earth.).

          • Alice Robertson

            Did you see my answer on repentance, redemption and sanctification from a few hours ago? It’s here on this long thread. I am not sure why the postings aren’t showing up in my inbox. I found your post while searching Disqus for a different post.

  • adh1729

    “There is no science behind the concept of a soul, it is a purely religious construct.” Says who? There is no science, Dr. Gunter, behind your belief that a human being is matter and only matter. Science can’t prove such a thing.
    Science can only measure and observe what it can. (Obviously.) Hence, if it can only measure and observe matter, and you therefore assume* that we are only matter — then clearly your belief that a human being is matter only, and not “soul” or “spirit” or anything else, boils down to an assumption, a personal belief. You assume that if science is holding hammers, then the whole universe must be only nails. Who says that science is the one and only guide to reality and truth? that if science can’t detect something, then it must not exist? How could anyone know that? It is nothing but an assumption. “Science” says that we are fur-less, tail-less monkeys, with big heads. Why, if we are merely animals, should a human life matter any more than that of a cow or mouse? We’re all just mammals. Let’s abolish this silly concept of “murder”: it is just disguised religion. (Or, flip side, we should abolish mouse traps.)

    • Alice Robertson

      So maybe Dr. Gunter can tell us how the first cell divided and came to be in the beginning? No God? Really? No Intelligent Design? How convenient…so relativism leads us to humanism and we are all mini-gods who can deny at will all that creation speaks to us so loudly.

      • adh1729

        I hear endlessly of how science has disproved and demolished religion. I have been in many science labs and have never seen religion or anti-religion in any of the beakers. I didn’t know that religious, moral, or ethical conclusions came from science experiments.
        The science worshippers should take their beliefs to their logical conclusion: there is no ultimate standard of right and wrong; morality does not apply to collections of biochemical molecules; morality is merely a convenience. The ultimate judge of morality is the majority vote. Hence, if my tribe has defeated yours on the battlefield, and we are now the majority, there is nothing wrong with torture, rape, and genocide. Science says the cat may kill the mouse, the lion may kill the zebra, and I may kill you — natural selection at work. (The mall/theater/school shooters have taken note.)

        • Alice Robertson

          So you tell me how life started? Some scientists take randomness and creativity to new dimensions then proclaim creationists fools. They simply choose a different religion of relativism or humanism or….or…or….with tons of guesswork in *their* personal science because there are no eyewitnesses to back them up and scientists disagree all the time.

          But the wise scientist stays out of the moral realm or fighting for a social justice they have deemed from within their own conscience about what feels right and suits them, not true human rights.

          • adh1729

            How did life start? For starters, I am a practicing MD, not an active PhD researcher. I did research in college, took lots of biochem & molecular biology in college and then again in med school and got excellent grades. When I was taking those classes, my impression was that science had no explanation at all for the origin of life (and that the idea that random chance events could have produced life, to me was laughably & astronomically impossible, similar to random chance re-erecting the WTC on 9/12/01.) A cell arising by chance, vs. a high rise arising by chance, are impossible for different reasons, but the result is the same. It might take me pages to explain further; if you are interested, let me know.
            Science and faith should not be pitted against each other; they occupy different realms. I know the scientists believe that someday they will be able to explain everything with science; I reply that Christians believe that someday there will be a second coming. The scientist’s faith is no better than the Christian’s faith. We can’t predict the future.

          • Alice Robertson

            See there is so much misconceptions about Christianity (there are pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib….millenialists and they all have their pre, mid, post) it’s really not a place in a science debate. It’s theology because they do not place their faith in science. You are intermixing a faith based believe with what science will share does agree with the Bible. Archaeologists often share about using the Bible text to help them. There is a marvelous site and they give seminars and youtube videos with debates with men like Dawkins and they are fascinating to see what the schools have hidden. I am going to place the extremely learned people who have dedicated their lives to the truth. Creation Scientists. I am going to repost under a different post because links and long posts often don’t get posted. They go into moderation and sometimes they never show up. Tell me who on this list isn’t qualified to speak out on science (they are highly degreed) and remember my email address is and I simply love conversations like this. My youngest child is sixteen so I have more time and I volunteer in the innercity so I understand the complexities. But visiting Answers in Genesis is a nice place to start the search for the truth…and it’s quite a journey of science because science is messier than religion.

          • Alice Robertson

            Here is the list of Creation Scientists from Answers in Genesis Science Foundation. I guess I just tire of one PhD or Science Teacher thinking they are thee ONE with the answer, only to find out hundreds disagree with them. So I read these writings and they made more sense and evidences. More at the Answers in Genesis website (sorry for the long post but links rarely get posted):

            Some modern scientists who have accepted
            the biblical account of creation

            Dr. William Arion, Biochemistry, Chemistry

            Dr. Paul Ackerman, Psychologist

            Dr. E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics

            Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist

            Dr. S.E. Aw, Biochemist

            Dr. Thomas Barnes, Physicist

            Dr. Geoff Barnard, Immunologist

            Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical
            Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling
            of plate tectonics

            Dr. Jerry Bergman, Psychologist

            Dr. Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology

            Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology

            Dr. Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology

            Edward A. Boudreaux, Theoretical

            Dr. David R. Boylan, Chemical Engineer

            Professor Stuart Burgess, Engineering Design

            Prof. Linn E. Carothers, Associate Professor
            of Statistics

            Dr. Rob Carter, Marine Biology

            Prof. Sung-Do Cha, Physics

            Dr. Eugene F. Chaffin, Professor of Physics

            Dr. Choong-Kuk Chang, Genetic Engineering

            Prof. Jeun-Sik Chang, Aeronautical Engineering

            Dr. Donald Chittick, Physical

            Prof. Chung-Il Cho, Biology Education

            Dr. John M. Cimbala, Mechanical

            Dr. Harold Coffin, Palaeontologist

            Timothy C. Coppess, M.S., Environmental Scientist

            Dr. Bob Compton, DVM

            Dr. Ken Cumming, Biologist

            Dr. Jack W. Cuozzo, Dentist

            Dr. William M. Curtis III, Th.D.,
            Th.M., M.S., Aeronautics & Nuclear Physics

            Dr. Malcolm Cutchins, Aerospace Engineering

            Dr. Lionel Dahmer, Analytical Chemist

            Dr. Raymond V. Damadian,
            M.D., Pioneer of magnetic resonance imaging

            Dr. Chris Darnbrough, Biochemist

            Dr. Nancy M. Darrall, Botany

            Dr. Bryan Dawson, Mathematics

            Dr. Douglas Dean, Biological Chemistry

            Prof. Stephen W. Deckard, Assistant Professor
            of Education

            Dr. David A. DeWitt, Biology,
            Biochemistry, Neuroscience

            Dr. Don DeYoung, Astronomy,
            atmospheric physics, M.Div

            Dr. Geoff Downes, Creationist Plant Physiologist

            Dr. Ted Driggers, Operations

            Robert H. Eckel, Medical Research

            Dr. André Eggen, Geneticist

            Dr. Dudley Eirich, Molecular Biologist

            Prof. Dennis L. Englin, Professor of Geophysics

            Dr. Andrew J. Fabich, Microbiology

            Prof. Danny Faulkner, Astronomy

            Prof. Carl B. Fliermans, Professor of Biology

            Prof. Dwain L. Ford, Organic Chemistry

            Dr. Kenneth W. Funk, Organic Chemistry

            Prof. Robert H. Franks, Associate Professor of Biology

            Dr. Alan Galbraith, Watershed Science

            Dr. Paul Giem, Medical Research

            Dr. Maciej Giertych, Geneticist

            Dr. Duane Gish, Biochemist

            Dr. Werner Gitt, Information Scientist

            Dr. Warwick Glover, General Surgeon

            Dr. D.B. Gower, Biochemistry

            Dr. Robin Greer, Chemist,

            Dr. Stephen Grocott, Chemist

            Dr. Vicki Hagerman, DMV

            Dr. Donald Hamann, Food Scientist

            Dr. Barry Harker, Philosopher

            Dr. Charles W. Harrison, Applied Physicist, Electromagnetics

            Dr. Mark Harwood, Engineering (satellite specialist)

            Dr. George Hawke, Environmental Scientist

            Dr. Margaret Helder, Science Editor, Botanist

            Dr. Harold R. Henry, Engineer

            Dr. Jonathan Henry, Astronomy

            Dr. Joseph Henson, Entomologist

            Dr. Robert A. Herrmann, Professor of Mathematics, US Naval Academy

            Dr. Andrew Hodge, Head of the
            Cardiothoracic Surgical Service

            Dr. Kelly Hollowell, Molecular
            and Cellular Pharmacologist

            Dr. Ed Holroyd, III, Atmospheric

            Dr. Bob Hosken, Biochemistry

            Dr. George F. Howe, Botany

            Dr. Neil Huber, Physical Anthropologist

            Dr. James A. Huggins, Professor
            and Chair, Department of Biology

            Evan Jamieson, Hydrometallurgy

            George T. Javor, Biochemistry

            Dr. Arthur Jones, Biology

            Dr. Jonathan W. Jones, Plastic Surgeon

            Dr. Raymond Jones, Agricultural

            Prof. Leonid Korochkin, Molecular Biology

            Dr. William F. Kane, (Civil) Geotechnical Engineering

            Dr. Valery Karpounin, Mathematical Sciences, Logics, Formal Logics

            Dr. Dean Kenyon, Biologist

            Prof. Gi-Tai Kim, Biology

            Prof. Harriet Kim, Biochemistry

            Prof. Jong-Bai Kim, Biochemistry

            Prof. Jung-Han Kim, Biochemistry

            Prof. Jung-Wook Kim, Environmental Science

            Prof. Kyoung-Rai Kim, Analytical Chemistry

            Prof. Kyoung-Tai Kim, Genetic Engineering

            Prof. Young-Gil Kim, Materials Science

            Prof. Young In Kim, Engineering

            Dr. John W. Klotz, Biologist

            Dr. Vladimir F. Kondalenko, Cytology/Cell Pathology

            Dr. Leonid Korochkin, M.D., Genetics, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology

            Dr. John K.G. Kramer, Biochemistry

            Dr. Johan Kruger, Zoology

            Prof. Jin-Hyouk Kwon, Physics

            Prof. Myung-Sang Kwon, Immunology

            Dr. John G. Leslie, Ph.D., Biochemist, Physician, Archaeologist

            Dr. Jason Lisle, Astrophysicist

            Dr. Alan Love, Chemist

            Dr. Ian Macreadie, molecular
            biologist and microbiologist

            Dr. John Marcus, Molecular Biologist

            Dr. Ronald C. Marks, Associate Professor of Chemistry

            Dr. George Marshall, Eye Disease

            Dr. Ralph Matthews, Radiation

            Dr. John McEwan, Chemist

            Prof. Andy McIntosh, Combustion
            theory, aerodynamics

            Dr. David Menton, Anatomist

            Dr. Angela Meyer, Creationist Plant

            Dr. John Meyer, Physiologist

            Dr. Albert Mills, Animal Embryologist/Reproductive

            Colin W. Mitchell, Geography

            Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, Physician

            Dr. Tommy Mitchell, Physician

            Dr. John N. Moore, Science Educator

            Dr. John W. Moreland, Mechanical
            engineer and Dentist

            Dr. Henry M. Morris (1918–2006),
            founder of the Institute for Creation

            Dr. Arlton C. Murray, Paleontologist

            Dr. John D. Morris, Geologist

            Dr. Len Morris, Physiologist

            Dr. Graeme Mortimer, Geologist

            Dr. Terry Mortenson, History
            of Geology

            Stanley A. Mumma, Architectural Engineering

            Prof. Hee-Choon No, Nuclear Engineering

            Dr. Eric Norman, Biomedical

            Dr. David Oderberg, Philosopher

            Prof. John Oller, Linguistics

            Prof. Chris D. Osborne, Assistant Professor
            of Biology

            Dr. John Osgood, Medical Practitioner

            Dr. Charles Pallaghy, Botanist

            Dr. Gary E. Parker, Biologist,
            Cognate in Geology (Paleontology)

            Dr. David Pennington, Plastic

            Prof. Richard Porter

            Dr. Georgia Purdom, Molecular Genetics

            Dr. John Rankin, Cosmologist

            Dr. A.S. Reece, M.D.

            Prof. J. Rendle-Short, Pediatrics

            Dr. Jung-Goo Roe, Biology

            Dr. David Rosevear, Chemist

            Dr. Ariel A. Roth, Biology

            Dr. Kenneth Royal, Psychometrics

            Dr. Ron Samec, Professional Astronomer

            Dr. Joachim Scheven, Palaeontologist

            Dr. Ian Scott, Educator

            Dr. Saami Shaibani, Forensic

            Dr. Young-Gi Shim, Chemistry

            Prof. Hyun-Kil Shin, Food Science

            Dr. Mikhail Shulgin, Physics

            Dr. Roger Simpson, Engineer

            Dr. Harold Slusher, Geophysicist

            Dr. E. Norbert Smith, Zoologist

            George S. Smith, M.S., Chemistry

            Dr. Andrew Snelling, Geologist

            Prof. Man-Suk Song, Computer Science

            Dr. Timothy G. Standish, Biology

            Prof. James Stark, Assistant Professor of Science

            Prof. Brian Stone, Engineer

            Dr. Esther Su, Biochemistry

            Dr. Charles Taylor, Linguistics

            Dr. Stephen Taylor, Electrical Engineering

            Dr. Ker C. Thomson, Geophysics

            Dr. Michael Todhunter, Forest

            Dr. Lyudmila Tonkonog, Chemistry/Biochemistry

            Dr. Royal Truman, Organic Chemist:

            Dr. Larry Vardiman, Atmospheric

            Prof. Walter Veith, Zoologist

            Dr. Joachim Vetter, Biologist

            Dr. Stephen J. Vinay III, Chemical Engineering

            Sir Cecil P. G. Wakeley (1892–1979) Surgeon

            Dr. Jeremy Walter, Mechanical

            Dr. Keith Wanser, Physicist

            Dr. Noel Weeks, Ancient Historian (also has B.Sc. in Zoology)

            Dr. A.J. Monty White, Chemistry/Gas

            Dr. John Whitmore, Geologist/Paleontologist

            Arthur E. Wilder-Smith (1915–1995) Three science doctorates; a creation
            science pioneer

            Dr. Clifford Wilson, Psycholinguist
            and archaeologist

            Dr. Gordon Wilson, Environmental Science and Public Policy

            Dr. Kurt Wise, Palaeontologist

            Prof. Verna Wright, Rheumatologist (deceased

            Prof. Seoung-Hoon Yang, Physics

            Dr. Thomas (Tong Y.) Yi, Ph.D., Creationist
            Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

            Dr. Ick-Dong Yoo, Genetics

            Dr. Sung-Hee Yoon, Biology

            Dr. Patrick Young, Chemist and
            Materials Scientist

            Prof. Keun Bae Yu, Geography

            Dr. Henry Zuill, Biology

            Is there evidence of discrimination against creation scientists?

            suppression of the theistic worldview

            Do creation scientists publish in
            secular journals?

            Do creationists publish in notable refereed journals?

            Bias in higher education

            Peer pressure and truth

            Revolutionary Atmospheric Invention by Victim of
            Anti-creationist Discrimination

            Science magazine refuses to hire

            Which scientists of the past believed in
            a Creator?

            As far as we know, the scientists of the past listed here believed in
            a literal
            Genesis unless indicated with an asterisk. The ones who did not are
            nevertheless included
            in the list below because of their general belief in the creator God
            of the
            Bible and opposition to evolution. But because the idea that the earth
            is ‘millions of years’ old has been disastrous in the long run, no
            present day ‘long-agers’ are
            included intentionally, because we submit that they should know

            Note: These scientists are sorted by birth year.


            Francis Bacon (1561–1626) Scientific method.

            Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) (WOH) Physics,
            Astronomy (see also The Galileo affair:
            history or heroic hagiography?)

            Johann Kepler (1571–1630) (WOH) Scientific astronomy

            Athanasius Kircher (1601–1680) Inventor

            John Wilkins (1614–1672)

            Walter Charleton (1619–1707) President of the Royal College of Physicians

            Blaise Pascal (biography page) and article from Creation magazine (1623–1662) Hydrostatics; Barometer

            Sir William Petty (1623–1687) Statistics; Scientific economics

            Robert Boyle (1627–1691) (WOH) Chemistry; Gas dynamics

            John Ray (1627–1705) Natural history

            Isaac Barrow (1630–1677) Professor of Mathematics

            Nicolas Steno (1631–1686) Stratigraphy

            Thomas Burnet (1635–1715) Geology

            Increase Mather (1639–1723) Astronomy

            Nehemiah Grew (1641–1712) Medical Doctor, Botany

            The Age of Newton

            Isaac Newton (1642–1727) (WOH)
            Dynamics; Calculus; Gravitation law; Reflecting telescope; Spectrum of light
            (wrote more about the Bible than science, and emphatically affirmed a Creator.
            Some have accused him of Arianism, but it’s likely he held to a heterodox
            form of the Trinity—See Pfizenmaier, T.C., Was Isaac Newton an Arian?
            Journal of the History of Ideas 68(1):57–80, 1997)

            Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646–1716) Mathematician

            John Flamsteed (1646–1719) Greenwich Observatory Founder; Astronomy

            William Derham (1657–1735) Ecology

            Cotton Mather (1662–1727) Physician

            John Harris (1666–1719) Mathematician

            John Woodward (1665–1728) Paleontology

            William Whiston (1667–1752) Physics, Geology

            John Hutchinson (1674–1737) Paleontology

            Johathan Edwards (1703–1758) Physics, Meteorology

            Carolus Linneaus (1707–1778) Taxonomy; Biological classification system

            Jean Deluc (1727–1817) Geology

            Richard Kirwan (1733–1812) Mineralogy

            William Herschel (1738–1822) Galactic astronomy; Uranus (probably believed in an old-earth)

            James Parkinson (1755–1824) Physician (old-earth compromiser*)

            John Dalton (1766–1844) Atomic theory; Gas law

            John Kidd, M.D. (1775–1851) Chemical synthetics (old-earth compromiser*)

            Just Before Darwin

            The 19th Century Scriptural
            Geologists, by Dr. Terry Mortenson

            Timothy Dwight (1752–1817) Educator

            William Kirby (1759–1850) Entomologist

            Jedidiah Morse (1761–1826) Geographer

            Benjamin Barton (1766–1815) Botanist; Zoologist

            John Dalton (1766–1844) Father of the Modern Atomic Theory; Chemistry

            Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) Comparative anatomy, paleontology (old-earth compromiser*)

            Samuel Miller (1770–1840) Clergy

            Charles Bell (1774–1842) Anatomist

            John Kidd (1775–1851) Chemistry

            Humphrey Davy (1778–1829) Thermokinetics; Safety lamp

            Benjamin Silliman (1779–1864) Mineralogist (old-earth compromiser*)

            Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869) Physician; Physiologist

            Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847) Professor (old-earth compromiser*)

            David Brewster (1781–1868) Optical mineralogy, Kaleidoscope (probably believed in an old-earth)

            William Buckland (1784–1856) Geologist (old-earth compromiser*)

            William Prout (1785–1850) Food chemistry (probably believed in an old-earth)

            Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873) Geology (old-earth compromiser*)

            Michael Faraday (1791–1867) (WOH) Electro magnetics; Field theory, Generator

            Samuel F.B. Morse (1791–1872) Telegraph

            John Herschel (1792–1871) Astronomy (old-earth compromiser*)

            Edward Hitchcock (1793–1864) Geology (old-earth compromiser*)

            William Whewell (1794–1866) Anemometer (old-earth compromiser*)

            Joseph Henry (1797–1878) Electric motor; Galvanometer

            Just After Darwin

            Richard Owen (1804–1892) Zoology; Paleontology (old-earth compromiser*)

            Matthew Maury (1806–1873) Oceanography, Hydrography (probably believed in an old-earth*)

            Louis Agassiz (1807–1873) Glaciology, Ichthyology (old-earth compromiser, polygenist*)

            Henry Rogers (1808–1866) Geology

            James Glaisher (1809–1903) Meteorology

            Philip H. Gosse (1810–1888) Ornithologist; Zoology

            Sir Henry Rawlinson (1810–1895) Archeologist

            James Simpson (1811–1870) Gynecology, Anesthesiology

            James Dana (1813–1895) Geology (old-earth compromiser*)

            Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert (1817–1901) Agricultural Chemist

            James Joule (1818–1889) Thermodynamics

            Thomas Anderson (1819–1874) Chemist

            Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819–1900) Astronomy

            George Stokes (1819–1903) Fluid Mechanics

            John William Dawson (1820–1899) Geology (probably believed in an old-earth*)

            Rudolph Virchow (1821–1902) Pathology

            Gregor Mendel (1822–1884) (WOH) Genetics

            Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) (WOH) Bacteriology, Biochemistry; Sterilization; Immunization

            Henri Fabre (1823–1915) Entomology of living insects

            William Thompson, Lord Kelvin
            (1824–1907) Energetics; Absolute temperatures; Atlantic cable (believed
            in an older earth than the Bible indicates, but far younger than the
            evolutionists wanted*)

            William Huggins (1824–1910) Astral spectrometry

            Bernhard Riemann (1826–1866) Non-Euclidean geometries

            Joseph Lister (1827–1912) Antiseptic surgery

            Balfour Stewart (1828–1887) Ionospheric electricity

            James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879)
            (WOH) Electrodynamics; Statistical thermodynamics

            P.G. Tait (1831–1901) Vector analysis

            John Bell Pettigrew (1834–1908) Anatomist; Physiologist

            John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (1842–1919) Similitude; Model Analysis; Inert Gases

            Sir William Abney (1843–1920) Astronomy

            Alexander MacAlister (1844–1919) Anatomy

            A.H. Sayce (1845–1933) Archeologist

            John Ambrose Fleming (1849–1945) Electronics; Electron tube; Thermionic valve

            Early Modern Period

            Dr. Clifford Burdick, Geologist

            George Washington Carver (1864–1943) Inventor

            L. Merson Davies (1890–1960) Geology; Paleontology

            Douglas Dewar (1875–1957) Ornithologist

            Howard A. Kelly (1858–1943) Gynecology

            Paul Lemoine (1878–1940) Geology

            Dr. Frank Marsh, Biology

            Dr. John Mann, Agriculturist, biological control pioneer

            Edward H. Maunder (1851–1928) Astronomy

            William Mitchell Ramsay (1851–1939) Archeologist

            William Ramsay (1852–1916) Isotopic chemistry, Element transmutation

            Charles Stine (1882–1954) Organic Chemist

            Dr. Arthur Rendle-Short (1885–1955) Surgeon

            Dr. Larry Butler, Biochemist

            Is there a list of those who are against the biblical view of creation?

            Q&A: Countering the Critics

            Other biographies and interviews of interest

            David Aikman, journalist

            Basil of Caesarea

            Gary and Meri Bell, underwater

            Hillmon Buckingham, Salvation
            Army Commissioner

            Betty Cuthbert, Olympic champion

            Thyrza Davey, illustrator and

            Buddy Davis, sculptor, singer

            Ralph DiCosimo, police officer

            Pete Dobré, creationist

            Ken Duncan, photographer

            Chang-Sha Fang, plant scientist

            Jim Farquhar, geologist

            Sergei Golovin, geophysicist

            David and Doreen Hart

            Johnny Hart, cartoonist

            Paul James-Griffiths, missionary
            to the New Age Movement

            Robert Jensen, photographer

            Dr. Douglas Kelly, academic theologian

            Dan Lietha, cartoonist

            Dr. George Lindsey, associate professor of
            science education

            Martin Lloyd-Jones, evangelist

            Prof. Marvin Lubenow, anthropology

            Luther on Evolution, and What
            was Martin Luther’s stand on Creation/Evolution? (Christian Answers

            Lou Moss, photographer

            William J. Murray, son of Madalyn
            Murray O’Hair

            Michael Oard, atmospheric scientist

            Jules H Poirier, design engineer

            Gary Raymond, law enforcement

            Joe Taylor, paleontologist

            Dr. Ting Wang, lecturer in biblical

            Prof. Hannington Enoch, zoologist,
            ‘The man who got me hunting down evolution!’ by David C.C.
            Watson, author of Myths and Miracles

            Dr. John Whitcomb, theologian

            John Woodmorappe, geologist

          • Alice Robertson

            I answered this but I don’t know where it went. In some realms science can predict the immediate future as far as catastrophes. There is good science, but when dealing with the past there is just too much guesswork being passed off as concrete facts. But the Christian faith is in the unseen…only because we weren’t alive to be an eyewitness at the resurrection of Christ. I mean just the date on this website and this post shows that today’s date is in the “Year of our Lord” and that’s because of the eyewitness accounts that created a church that lives on to this day. There is historical facts about the validity of the Christian church and I believe there is science too. But I gotta run my daughter over to the Cleveland Clinic and use some good science to help her heal (she has cancer so we know all about good and bad science as far as the human body reacts to what heals and what harms). And by-the-way I never wanted to be a mom. I wanted an astounding career….but after becoming a mom my heart changed in proportion and I gave up my own desires and took a road that led to having six children who rock my world in ways I could never have seen possible before they were part of my life. Two have had cancer and even in that I see a just God who has comforted me (my oldest son was miraculously healed. An astrocytoma brain tumor documented…the video is on youtube under Alex Robertson healing…with a neurologist from Cleveland Clinic showing the MRI with the tumor and with it gone). Without God I am unsure of where people get their sense of “just” and “unjust” from. Evolution fails to provide any explanation, yet evolution in it’s violence that leads to existence doesn’t allow for social justice….at it’s core there is no such thing. Evolution leaves far more questions to be answered than creationism and for many it takes far more faith.

  • doktorzoom

    Wow, the comments on this post are astonishingly narrow-minded. Thank you for sharing your story, and don’t let the judgmental religious extremists get you down.

    • Guest

      “don’t let the judgmental religious extremists get you down.”

      As others have pointed out, the majority of American women are against abortion after 20 weeks. Are you calling the majority of American women “judgmental religious extremists”?

      • Guest

        It’s clear the ones commenting here are not just against abortions after 20 weeks. So, his comments are spot on.

      • Persephone Hazard

        From over here, it always seems to look like the majority of *Americans* are judgemental religious extremists.

  • Michael Wosnick

    Wow. We went from a thoughtful and sentimental post remembering the tragedy of a lost child and a parent taking some solace in the belief that at least his death was pain free. And from that we got in the comments to sticking scissors in necks, cutting spinal cords while alive, smashing in skulls and tearing from limb to limb.

    Are you kidding me????

    And then we wonder why the religious zealots have created a divide across which rational thought and sensible and sensitive argument can never traverse. Fire and brimstone indeed.


    • Guest

      +1. Thank you for your rational post.

    • STR

      And yet the author uses her dead son to root for late-term abortion, claiming that the fact that she didn’t see him cry out in pain as he was dying means it’s okay to tear living babies his same age limb from limb.

      Seriously creepy.

      • Michael Wosnick

        Nope. What’s seriously creepy is how in the blazes did you infer that from what the author wrote?

        Please indicate one single iota of a quote to back up your ridiculous assertion. Please show me one single sentence that even gets close to have the author suggesting she is “rooting” for late term abortions let alone tearing living babies apart.

        And then we wonder why we can’t have serious conversations about important stuff.

        • pbat

          Oh come on, a 30 second google search of Dr Gunter shows that she is a hugely pro abortion and liberal, and vocal about it. At least call it like it is, no matter what “side you’re on”….

          • Guest

            But nothing in this article. Thanks for clarifying.

          • Michael Wosnick

            I don’t care if she is pro-abortion or anti-abortion. That’s NOT what she wrote about and no amount of inferring her values from Googling her or reading other things she writes excuses the absolute ignorance of excoriating her with vile and disgusting imagery for something she did NOT write about and did not even mention.

            I did call it like it is. And you didn’t like it apparently….

          • pbat

            Um did we read the same article??? That IS what she wrote about when she talks about “laws based on fetal pain…” at the end of this article—these are the laws about abortion after 20 weeks. SHE is the one who also mentions that most of the anti choice legislation comes from the religious right. If all she wanted to do was have a “sentimental and thoughtful post” about her lost child, then she should have kept it at that. The post is clearly referencing abortion…..

          • Alice Robertson

            This debate is interesting from the standpoint of a poster assuming another poster assumed too much and displaying outrage over the assumption that has now been proven:)

            I give the poster “pbat” credit for taking your challenge and countering you with deciphering the author’s intent. Personally I am trained in literature and think pbat saw where this article is heading with her persuasive writing about babies not feeling pain. I think she is using her own grief and credentials to promote exactly what pbat says she is sharing. Because a mother contemplating abortion cares very much about her baby not feeling pain. And there is a youtube video that shows an abortion and what happens inside the womb and it sure looks painful and the child tries to escape the instrument that will lead to it’s death. Oh gosh I forgot that’s anecdotal and doctors are so much better than that:) I will forget what my eyes have seen and just trust the good author/MD’s writing above. *wink*

          • Guest

            And there is a youtube video that shows an abortion and what happens inside the womb and it sure looks painful and the child tries to escape the instrument that will lead to it’s death.

            LOL. Post this link please. How could they film a fetal “reaction” while performing a D&C? Where was the camera? Is this based on an ultrasound? Sounds like serious propoganda and you totally took the bait.

    • Alice Robertson

      Wait a minute! You voiced your opinion so equal timing…no “Shame” in that. “Religious zealots” and somehow you get 21 Likes and you are not a zealot with a cause? Hmmm….how interesting… emotional post about death….the exact scenario that should take place….an innocent child died…a mother grieves….and when that doesn’t happen and mother is able to legally have a hand in the death of her child it’s legal and we get posts from people who want to label those who care. Hmm…again…and again…and again… simply makes no sense that people would endorse hard heartedness under some vain disguise of altruism.

      • Guest

        Again, this is the same woman who wants to see children born and then die of measles as opposed to getting life saving vaccines. Oxymoronic.

  • Stacerella

    Over the years online the same folks who like to toss around the terms sad, hopeless and selfish while responding to women who elect not to have children also will use those very same terms while addressing any woman who loses a baby through no fault of her own and any woman who has an abortion. There doesn’t seem to be any distinction between any of those three types of reproductive situations. Why is that?

    Well, from what I have observed, the people who use those terms so freely, and with such authority, tend to be good Christian folk. I would pity your limited views and hearts, but I’m too busy giving my attention, pity, sympathies and empathies to women like Dr. Gunter who actually need it. After all, your god took her child away, so we should be rallying around her, not standing around her with pitchforks and torches ready to lynch her for daring to share her words of PERSONAL experience and PERSONAL opinion.

    Have you no heart? (Rhetorical question.)

    • Guest

      The article would have been better without her bigoted swipes against the majority of American women who do NOT think late-term abortion is okay.

    • Alice Robertson

      And our “God” capital “G” will be the one to give her more children via a birth, or an adoption. is it really fair to criticize God and not praise him because truly “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” How odd you nitpick at rare circumstances, but don’t see the beauty in all that God created, but use the blame game because a rare person acted terribly but most act quite well with sympathy…..the same sympathy I extend to you for feeling this way. It must be terrible. I am sorry!

  • Tiredoc

    I would think a post about decrying the state of science would have some points about science. Simply stating that at 22 weeks the “neural pathways for pain do not exist” and that from your observation premature infants do not express suffering is not sufficient. Your tragic story does not inoculate you from having to make your point.

    Too many issues are draped in the false robes of science as it is. Abortion is and always will be a moral question. If you want the question answered “do 22 1/2 week old infants feel pain” answered in a scientific way, postulate the question and test it.

    If you must know, adults don’t have pain pathways either. We have touch pathways, and tissue damage pathways, and pressure pathways, and temperature pathways. Pain is not a sensation but a feeling.

    Perhaps you don’t want to know the answer.

    • FFP

      Wrong. In case of spinal cord damage, one will lose the sensation of pain, too, in the affected areas. Please show me a medical textbook that supports this theory of yours, that pain is just a “feeling”; maybe I should stop taking aspirin.

      Abortion will always be a moral question. For non-religious folks, besides arguing about women’s rights, it’s difficult not to support a measure that decreases criminality a generation later.

      • Tiredoc

        Great. i’ll just tell my two complete quadriplegics with chronic pain that because they can’t feel their feet, they must not have any pain. I’ll just yank that pesky intrathecal pump out, too, since you tell me he can’t possibly feel any pain.

        Oh, and since absence of sensation is your metric, I’ll tell my amputee patients that because their limb isn’t there, they can’t feel pain, either.

        Only creatures without brains lack feelings. The brain is the organ whose function it is to process sensation and interpret it. If you wish to know if a creature feels pain, you need to look at the brain.

        As to “believable,” “believable” is irrelevant to science. My point was that the post was a complaint about “pseudoscience” that failed to include any science.

        A final note. Surgery has been performed under hypnosis and acupuncture. Wouldn’t be my first choice, personally, but put your snark back in your pocket before you scare yourself.

        • Allie

          If you can tell the people you describe anything, they are quite a different thing from fetuses

          • Tiredoc

            I can’t tell my 13 year old anything, so what does that mean?

          • Alice Robertson

            Yeah…but remember she doesn’t feel pain…so go ahead and deprive her of all that life has to offer….the anecdotal of her falling apart or crying…or going to her room to deal with her disappointment is all anecdotal:) Oh for goodness sakes just kill the non-pain feeling 13 year old fetus! Ha!

          • Allie

            You’re capable of using figurative language?

          • Allie

            Being able to listen or not listen also makes her a quite different thing from a fetus.

          • Tiredoc

            I’ll be clearer. Your point, my ability to tell them something, is a poor measure for capacity to feel pain. It would exclude animals, infants, mentally handicapped, the deaf (I don’t know sign language), and people who don’t speak English.

          • Allie

            That isn’t my point. You said “you’ll tell your quadriplegic patients.” The fact that you can tell your quadriplegic patients things means they are different than fetuses, which have none of the required apparatus for the kind of analogy that you are making. You are the one comparing apples to oranges (quadriplegics to fetuses). That is what I am pointing out. I’m not interested in whether you personally can speak every language including sign language. That’s a stawman argument to respond with “but I can’t speak foreign languages.” I never said the capacity to feel pain is the same as being able to be communicated with. I am saying that fetuses and your patients are different in many respects, some of which I think matter for the discussion of whether we should treat them the same, as you are suggesting.

          • Tiredoc

            “So with the body of evidence indicating neural pathways for pain don’t exist at 22 1/2 weeks”

            “If you must know, adults don’t have pain pathways either. We have touch pathways, and tissue damage pathways, and pressure pathways, and temperature pathways. Pain is not a sensation but a feeling.”

            “Please show me a medical textbook that supports this theory of yours, that pain is “just a feeling”; maybe we should start offering you just a shrink for surgical anesthesia.”

            “Great. i’ll just tell my two complete quadriplegics with chronic pain that because they can’t feel their feet, they must not have any pain. I’ll just yank that pesky intrathecal pump out, too, since you tell me he can’t possibly feel any pain.”

            You: “If you can tell the people you describe anything, they are quite a different thing from fetuses”

            Off-topic and irrelevant. No one in the thread was asserting that fetuses and adults are equal in their ability to either suffer or feel pain. My point was that the presence or absence of a sensory pathway is not sufficient to rule out the possibility of feeling pain. By the single example of quadriplegics who feel pain, per the scientific method, intact and complete neural pathways are not a prerequisite for the feeling of pain.

            I will be glad to address your points. Please post when you have one.

          • Allie

            If you aren’t attempting to suggest that your quadriplegic patients and fetuses are similar in some relevant way, then you are the one being “off-topic and irrelevant.” If your “point is that presence or absence of a sensory pathway is not sufficient to rule out the possibility of feeling pain” then you are misunderstanding the nature of fetuses. Your quadriplegic patient has a damaged sensory pathway. Fetuses before a certain point, haven’t developed them at all. You are making a comparison of quadriplegic patients, who have damaged sensory pathways, to fetuses, who bases on the best knowledge we have haven’t created them at all. Thus, as I pointed out, they are not similar enough for you to make the comparison you are trying to make. Why should I accept your argument that a person with a damaged neural pathway feels pain mean that a fetus without one could feel pain? Again, one more time, you are using apples to try to make an argument about oranges, or more formally, a problem of non-generalizability in your ‘scientific method.”

          • Tiredoc

            Complete quadriplegic patients don’t have any functional cortical sensory function below the level of the spinal cord injury.

            They do, commonly have autonomic function. Pain disorders of the autonomic system are the most difficult pain syndromes to treat.

            Cortical differentiation does begin at 22 weeks. I fully grant that it’s been definitively proven that 22 week old fetuses could not possibly identify what hurt. That doesn’t mean that they can’t perceive pain at all.

            The autonomic nervous system develops before the higher level cortical system. Pain, being old, and deep, and primal, is quite possibly felt by fetuses prior to the maturation of sensory cortex.

          • Allie

            We can all hypothesize anything that suits our purposes about what “quite possibly’ is felt or isn’t felt by fetuses. But nothing about quadriplegics will ever prove or disprove it.

          • Tiredoc

            It proves nothing more and nothing less than what I said it did. An intact, mature corticospinal sensory tract is not required for the feeling of pain. I have not attempted to prove that fetuses feel pain. I have only disproved that fetuses cannot feel pain because they don’t have cortical sensory processing. That’s one inconvenient thing about science. You can spend a lifetime building evidence for your pet theory, only to have it blown up with a single example.

        • FFP

          So because a nerve ending is severed at a certain spinal level, that means one should not feel pain generated in that ultra-damaged sensory nerve ending?

          And this chronic pain is not just a “feeling”, it’s impulses generated in the nerve; otherwise one could not block it with local anesthetic injected around a peripheral nerve or sympathetic ganglion.

          I am not a pain specialist, but I am an anesthesiologist and it’s the first time I hear that pain is JUST a “feeling”. It is well known that pain also has a central nervous system component that modulates it; however, I don’t see how one can feel pain without the nervous pathways that conduct the nociceptive stimulus having been developed.

          I have a feeling I am not the one who does not understand the mechanisms of pain here. Anyway, I don’t think that it should matter whether the fetus feels pain or not; the ugliest politically correct word in the world is “humane”.

          • Tiredoc

            Actually, the brain is reacting to the absence of sensation. Keep that peripheral nerve block going long enough, you’ll get the same effect. You’re making the common mistake of viewing neurological input as an electrical signal, either on or off. It’s more common that the sensory input slows down the firing of a continuously active neuron.

            Visceral (organ) pain comes from a tiny number of neurons in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. It is very difficult to track down, much less to treat. I had a patient that went through half a dozen specialists and a ridiculous amount of studies to evaluate his right testicle pain. I tracked it down to a stenotic common bile duct (in the liver) diagnosed primarily by taking an hour to get a very detailed history of the pain.

            There is no reason to presume anything about the development of pain in a fetus by our understanding of embryology. We don’t really understand pain all that well in adults.

          • FFP

            We don’t understand a lot of things. Just 100 years from now, future doctors will laugh at all the stupid things we believed in. That’s how science is, and that’s OK by me. I know enough about it to take probabilities of truth into account.

            (However that testicular pain from bile duct stenosis would be what we called referred pain. Nothing unusual, just not the first thing to think about, by far.)

            Anyway, as I said, we should not decide about abortion based on whether the fetus does or does not feel pain; we don’t have early memories, which suggest that a lot of other things are underdeveloped in that brain. A “humane” kill is still a kill; the question is whether I am killing an intelligent being (at that time), and under what conditions this can stay in balance with women’s rights.

            P.S. I know that I am pissing off both sides with this post. :-)

          • Tiredoc

            Sometimes, 100 years is unnecessary.

          • Guest

            “Just 100 years from now, future doctors will laugh at all the stupid things we believed in.”

            Just 150 years ago, the accepted wisdom was that slavery was okay because “the negro race” was less evolved and therefore not really quite as human as whites were. It was also okay to beat slaves, because blacks didn’t feel pain the same way whites did.

            What will civilization think, in 100 years, about late term abortion and the justifications we make for it?

          • Alice Robertson

            The slavery analogy is a poor one because as we know Christian abolitionists were instrumental (and died) fighting for the end of slavery just as Christians are the heroes in saving babies from death. What we really need are historians who value the truth and write without agendas. We already know textbooks are filled with errors (some websites are devoted to exposing the errors and some of them are so obvious you have to read them two or three times to understand how they even got past an editor. And some publishers change them and update them and some don’t and some schools can’t afford to replaced them. So the lies remain.

      • Tiredoc

        Abortion: killing the next generation of criminals. Somehow, don’t think that’ll be on any NARAL placards and bumper stickers any time soon. I think I’d keep that one to myself, if I were you.

        • M.K.C.

          The abortion industry and various eugenics movements often seem to go hand in hand, and have from the start. Culling the undesirables for the good of society as a whole and all that. Most of them have learned not to come straight out and say it like that, but …..

          • FFP

            Abortion has nothing to do with eugenics; it has much more to do with a woman’s right to decide about her body and life. Everything else is a side effect. You must have never seen a woman after abortion; many of them are heartbroken, it’s not an easy decision for them.

            Abortion is not an industry. If I think about the term “industry”, I rather picture megachurches with multimillionaire pastors preaching against abortion, not mega abortion clinics (which don’t exist).

          • Guest

            “Abortion is not an industry.”

            Yes, it is. There’s big bucks in it. There is absolutely no denying that, and you look very disingenuous pretending that all these people just kill babies out of the kindness of their hearts.

            Serial killer Kermit Gosnell is a multimillionaire.

            And yes, the argument that it’s good to kill babies because we’re mainly killing the “undesirables” who would have probably become criminals anyway, IS eugenics.

        • FFP

          I am not running for office, so I can actually care about scientific proof. And there seems to be some regarding the decrease in criminality one generation after abortion was legalized in the US, the same way it increased one generation after it was made illegal in some Soviet bloc states.

          • Tiredoc

            Again with the “science.”. If the U.S. ever signs up for a prospective study on the basis of aborting the potential children of criminals, I’m out of here.

            The dramatic drop in crime rate common to all industrialized countries preceded the advent of commonly available surgical abortion.

            There are so many confounding variables in crime rates to render such analysis dubious at best. To move from interesting dinner conversation about the possible inadvertent effect of legalized abortion to publicly stating that it is a reason to maintain its legal status is explicitly eugenics.

            Half of all of the incarcerated in this country are African American. To publicly state that it’s a good thing that potential criminals are aborted is indefensible. This is a public forum, and your anonymity is not guaranteed.

            The reason that abortion is a moral question is precisely that some people think that other people shouldn’t have children. Those people should keep that opinion to themselves, because it’s wrong, irrespective of their position about the legality of abortion.

          • FFP

            You are putting words in my mouth.

            1. Most of the abortions I come in contact with are from white women. I am not racially-biased. We are not talking about eugenics here, we are talking about a woman’s right to choose, freely.

            2. The reason crime drops when abortion is allowed is not race, it’s social circumstances. When a woman decides to terminate a pregnancy, it’s usually because she has a very good reason. Most of these unwanted kids will stay unwanted even after birth, and will be either neglected or might push a family over the edge. We should trust these heartbroken women more.

            3. On the other hand, no healthcare provider should ever be forced to do anything that s/he finds morally reprehensible.

            4. We can debate about how far into the pregnancy abortion should be allowed, but a woman should have the right to choose. Women are not walking incubators, and that should never be a matter for debate. And if we ever get to reopen the abortion question nationally, we should organize state referendums on it, and ONLY WOMEN should be allowed to vote. What right does a male have to dictate what women should do with their body, when males have no idea how pregnancy feels???

          • Tiredoc

            Your points:

            1. So, you’re saying that in your personal experience you believe that the women that you come into contact with that are having abortions are more likely than the average population to produce criminals. How precisely does this improve your argument that you are not a eugenicist?

            2. You have to prove that crime drops when abortion is allowed, you cannot infer that logically. There is no reason to presume that women who undergo abortion have good reasons. Kind of by definition in the age of contraception, reason is not their strong point. Either way, another statement that would require some form of proof. Likewise for the statement that unwanted pregnancies produce unwanted children. Prove it. Neglect. Prove it. Heartbroken. Prove it. Push a family over the edge? Again. Prove it. If there’s one thing that’s been definitively proven, it’s that human behavior and logic are quite divergent.

            3. I agree.

            4. If it isn’t a matter of debate, then why are you debating it? Why would you advocate a vote on it? As for the women only should vote, I bellieve that universal sufferage is well, universal. You seem to be unaware of the natural consequences of your beliefs. You might want to avoid obvious landmines like exclusionary voting based on class interest. Nothing good comes of that.

            P.S. My point was there was no science. Nor is there science in your paragraph. Science is not “I don’t believe in a soul, or the bible,” science is a testable, reproducible hypothesis. It is not based on reason, but on experimental evidence. You can reason a hypothesis, but then you have to prove it. You have not.

          • FFP

            1. I don’t see how I can be anything as long as all I do is respect a woman’s right to choose, at least up to a certain fetal age. I am not imposing anything on anybody. I am not supporting anything systematic. Careful how you throw your words.

            2. Read the book Freakonomics and you might infer logically that there is a relationship between crime and abortion rates a generation earlier. I do not need or want to prove anything. You are not proving anything you say either.

            4. I am advocating a vote because I don’t like how divided this country is on this issue, and I don’t think it’s a matter of federal authority. I don’t think 9 people should decide about things that impact 300 million at this level: I think it’s something that requires a referendum. And I care much more about women’s opinions about this then men’s because it’s about women’s rights. Let me reformulate: I think that every man should vote according to the opinions of the women who are close to his heart, not according to his selfish opinions.

            P.S. I agree with the part about science. That paragraph was written for deeply religious people. For them, I could bring 10 tons of scientific proof and still it wouldn’t matter.

            By the way, this is supposed to be a friendly discussion, not an academic paper with references. I am not a zealot, I don’t have an agenda here. I am presenting my opinions, and where I can, I bring proof. Absence of proof is not proof of absence. You haven’t proven either that those fetuses do feel pain and from what age. ;-)

          • Tiredoc

            1. Who you are and who you appear to be are two separate things. I presume that you are not a eugenicist. I was attempting to point out that abortion and criminality are extraordinarily difficult to associate without sharing a logic path with people you’d probably not associate with.

            2. I’ve read Freakonomics. It’s an interesting theory entirely unsuitable for actual scientific proof. As I stated, I would be strongly opposed to any sort of prospective study of abortion and criminality, regardless of the merit of the question. Some things I don’t trust my fellow humans to ask.

            3. I agree with the vote. How I would vote would depend on the ballot. For the most part, the debate today seems mostly collusion between the parties to get 1% of the population to work for free for the Democrats and 1% of the population to work for free for the Republicans come election time.

            P.S. I haven’t made any statements about whether or not fetuses feel pain because I don’t know. I also don’t really think that it’s a good idea to try to find out. The only experimental models I can think of would be ghoulish. I’d rather have the debate stay on moral grounds, where it belongs.

            As for the science, science was invented by religious people who presumed that nature expressed the will of God. They determined that the logic was insufficient, and that where scripture was silent, the work of God would provide evidence.

            “In God we trust.” All others bring data.

          • FFP

            Do you have actual proof that science was invented by religious people, and not by those darn atheists? :-))

            I think science was invented by smart people who were not happy with explanations given to them by other people, so they started to seek out their own. There is a famous quote about computer programming, from Eric S. Raymond: “Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer’s personal itch.” I think that’s how science started.

            P.S. I expect three hundred million Americans to think about ~100 different gods in the context that motto. I personally like “E pluribus unum” (the old one) more. I don’t base my thinking on God; I have no idea what He/She/They think. Not a big fan of data either, because of the same humans (and their weaknesses), but when a scientific conclusion is reproduced repeatedly by multiple apparently unrelated groups, I tend to believe it.

            To somehow paraphrase what you said earlier: religion was invented by people who could not stand that they knew so little, so they imagined an explanation for everything. Kind of like when a literary critic comes up with all the wise explanations about a literary work, that have nothing to do with the author’s real intentions.

          • Alice Robertson

            Maybe you still believe in Greek gods?:)

          • Tiredoc

            Germ of scientific method started with Aristotle. Fallow for centuries in Platonic ideal of Catholic church. Glimmer of development under Ibn Al-Hasan squelched by theology.

            Acceptance of Aristotle and logic under Aquinas as stated, natural world expression of the logical will of God. Logic squelched under silliness of scholasticism, I.e. logical construct from revealed word.

            Fall of Constantinople sparks Renaissance. Western European fascination with alchemy. Francis Bacon initiates experimental method. Galileo runs with it, acknowledged father of science.

            Science is a fusion of two disciplines, logic and observation. It requires a belief about the physical universe, that is its uniform structure in all parts of the world, that is not logically self-evident.

            Since virtually all of the early science was performed by strange people, mostly in university settings, mostly at odds with their superiors, I think that people of all beliefs can agree on one constant. University administrators at all time, in all places, are morons who job it is to irritate the creative into greatness.

        • Alice Robertson

          Freakonomics view on that is a proven myth (of murdering future criminals while in the womb). The stats on who seeks an abortion show a different outcome. And even if they were correct it’s an outrageous psychic use to promote murder as some type of supposed greater good!

    • Alice Robertson

      You did well Tireddoc!:)

      • Tiredoc


  • Stephanie Van

    thank you for this post.

    “the first right a child should have is that of being wanted” – Mary Ware Dennett

    • T. McIver

      She was arguing in favor of women using birth control so as not to create a child who is not wanted; not in favor of killing babies.

    • Alice Robertson

      So you are against human rights? Our existence depends on whether we are wanted? If so I shouldn’t be here? Rewind…..:)

      • Guest

        And just think about all the elderly and disabled Americans who may not be “wanted” anymore. Is it our “right” to kill them?

    • Guest

      I am fine with first trimester abortion. But if it takes carrying a baby for 20 weeks or more for a woman to decide that said baby is not “wanted”, there’s something wrong there.

      The best time to make the decision as to whether or not you want to have a baby, is before you engage in activities which will create a baby.

      • Alice Robertson

        And hasn’t science been a game changer? The ultrasound showed it wasn’t that the moms didn’t want the children, they didn’t want the sacrifice, or they didn’t think it was a human. They see an ultrasound and realize it’s a human being they are killing (they must have had an ignorant science teacher or counselor who told them it was a fetal blob or whatever else they lie about to the young women they counsel). Where I live Planned Parenthood fought hard but in vain to prevent the use of ultrasound. They prefer darkness and ignorance and death over the truth. So whether or not a mother wants the child is a very poor indicator because we already know adoption is a marvelous choice. When I volunteered at the Crisis Pregnancy Center the young moms would come in delighted and say they can’t believe they almost killed the child. You would watch them play and kiss their child with sheer delight. Being a mother made them better more empathetic people….but most of all very grateful they chose life. They did not suffer as the girls in the counseling group did for choosing an abortion. They would often get pregnant almost immediately hoping a child would heal their heart.

        • Hannah

          Steve Jobs was an “unwanted” child. Well, he was unwanted by the woman who conceived him. He was very much wanted by the couple who adopted him.

          –sent from my iPad :)

          • Guest

            Fascinating! The 3 children my neighbor fosters were also unwanted. They continue to be unwanted. They have been abused at several different foster homes. Oh well, at least they were born alive and not aborted, right!

          • Guest

            It’s probably not a good idea to tell your neighbor’s foster kids that you reckon they should have been killed.

          • Guest

            Re-read my post. I never said I thought they should be killed. This is the problem with the abortion debate. Anti-abortionists put words into the opposition’s mouths and use words like killed and murder to incite emotion.

          • Alice Robertson

            The thread read that children should be “wanted” with the usual supposed philosophically touchingly pro death quotes the pro choicers proclaim then act all offended and put words in the mouth’s of others while doing their best Scarlett O’Hara act. Ha!

        • Guest

          How many children have you adopted, Alice? It is, after all, a marvelous choice!

          • Alice Robertson

            You are right! I wanted to, but I had too many of my own (disqualified…six kids with a minimum of two hundred sq. ft. per person in the home) and and my home is really tiny so I couldn’t . Gosh I would have loved to adopt (my daughter’s dream was to adopt a Downie but they are the true endanger species. They are killed at such a high rate in their mother’s wombs I wonder if my grandchildren will know how precious they are. Yet, they aren’t even on the list as endangered because we are legally allowed to kill them….they are imperfect not valued).. Many of my friends have huge families from adoption. How I admire them! And to see those kids grown up is an amazing thing. I do have a fantastic adoption story. From the time a young mother walked out to the street protestor and asked if he would take her child (how could she have known his only child had died and his wife was praying for a child). He took the child and the kid is just a fantastic kid (well adult) who has brought gladness to both of the families! No regrets from the mother.

  • Tiredoc

    When I was a medical student, I considered a career as a OB. My medical school had us shadow a PCP every week throughout the first 3 years. My preceptor the first year was an OB. In addition to the one day a week for clinic, I shadowed him for his scheduled surgeries.

    One of the surgeries was an abortion for a Native American woman from a reservation, 20 weeks’ pregnant. Unlike all of the other surgeries, the patient was draped and the nurses left the room. The anesthesiologist pulled the curtain practically to the ceiling so he didn’t have to see anything.

    The resident didn’t scrub in, but stood to the side. A Russian, he said that he’d performed hundreds of late term abortions as a doctor in Russia and had no intention of doing them here. My perception nodded, and said that they were an abomination. He then proceeded to do one flawlessly.

    With his clamps he pulled the fetus apart limb from clearly identifiable limb, except for the head which was not recognizable. The organs were clearly tiny liver and intestines separated from the abdomen.

    I don’t know if the fetus felt pain. I know I did observing it. I can’t say that I know for sure the right or wrong of the issue politically. I can say that I switched out of OB for the next year two years of shadowing a PCP.

    • Guest

      God, how horrific. I am ardently pro choice and doubt I could watch such a thing. I also eat meat and doubt I could spend 30 seconds in a slaughterhouse.

      Bottom line to me is that abortion is never pretty but I will always fight for a woman’s right to have the choice to have one.

      • Alice Robertson

        So the child has no rights in your world? But an animal does?

        • Guest

          Did you see the ultrasound of a baby elephant that was going around Twitter? It was accorded more awe and respect from the pro-abortion mob than any human baby in the womb ever has. Google “Journos marvel at image of baby elephant in womb”.

          • Alice Robertson

            No I didn’t see that, but it would seem consistent with the rabid animal rights groups whose bleeding hearts want animals protected above humans. And articles like this with faulty, convenient science displayed under the disguise of a heartbreaking human event that broke a mother’s heart yet she finds solace in a false belief that the child didn’t suffer but displaying her own grief. The same convoluted feelings are displayed when animal rights people want to protect animals in the womb yet have no feelings for the child in the womb. They just have selective feelings and selective science in an effort to convince us that all is well when a living being is aborted because a mom is supposed to believe her aborted child felt no pain. It’s really quite an agenda… placation to promote death because it supposedly doesn’t hurt the abortee. I think it demeans not only the child in the womb but the mother contemplating it. Do we really have to lie to encourage murder?

          • Guest

            I never understand the “fight for the unborn.” Once born, these kids are unwanted not only by their mom but also society.

            However, society values their “rights” as long as it involves restricting the freedom of women. It’s pathetic.

          • Alice Robertson

            If women restricted their sexual “freedom” we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but since they won’t your justifying of murder and labeling human beings as undesirable is really shallow.

          • Noni

            Your misogynistic attitude is offensive, and you confirm that in fact, the abortion debate is a war against WOMEN. Men have just as much responsibility in preventing pregnancy, but it’s easier to label women murderers than acknowledge that.

          • Alice Robertson

            Well all you have to do is change topics, not get personal. If you want to discuss men just say so, but the truth is the woman bares the responsibility of the life or death decision. Even if the man wants the child she is the final decision maker. It’s a rare deal where a man would lock up a gal until she gives birth to prevent abortion. Oh yes, that happened with Ariel Castro and the mother lives near me and is ecstatic she has a child. Her family was so happy when she got out and they were delirious to get Amanda AND her child conceived in rape into their lives. They see it as a blessing!

          • puck90

            But you spoke of women restricting their sexual “freedom” as if men had nothing to do with it which makes your statement misogynistic.

          • Alice Robertson

            No, that would be a misread. I believe the ultimate decision is left to the mother of the child she is going to kill. The reasons are not the real discussion. Who could not understand a woman dwelling on how a child will change her live. The real decision is in whether to kill the child or not. That’s the mother who does the deed. Now if you want to talk about conception that’s something of a different nature and both parties have something to do with that (obviously:) But the women has a tremendous amount of control in that area too.

          • puck90

            Then your statement “If women restricted their sexual “freedom” we wouldn’t be having this conversation” is outside the bounds of this discussion. Please stay on topic.

          • Alice Robertson

            Wait a minute…you are rebuking because you can’t find anymore “Gotchas” like “Guest” is trying to do (typing and hitting “Dislike”:). So it’s not about staying on topic it’s more that your knickers are in a twist over my comments! Are you the moderator now?

          • puck90

            No, I’m rebuking because you made a snarky comment about women’s sexual freedom which you then claimed wasn’t the point of the discussion.

          • Adam

            “the abortion debate is a war against WOMEN.”

            No, it’s a war against babies. Both male and female babies. In case you weren’t clear on this, THEY’RE the ones getting killed.

        • Guest

          Where on earth did I say that?

          A fetus is not a child. Take the emotion out of your argument and we might get somewhere.

          • Alice Robertson

            So if the author’s child had been born breathing and they were able to save it’s life what you would have called it? What type of discussion do you want? You are justifying murder so what’s to argue?

          • Guest

            A discussion based on scientific fact and rationale, though when it comes to abortion that is impossible. I call a fetus a fetus, you call it a baby. I call it abortion, you call it murder. How on earth can people have a rational discussion when they can’t even use the same language?

            I invite you to read the post that was here on kevinmd several months back about the days before legalized abortion. If you are as pro “life” as you claim you will have some compassion for the women who lost their lives suffering simply because people like you restricted their basic rights to have control over their own bodies.

          • Alice Robertson

            You are trying to apply ignorance as an excuse? So your support lopsided compassion that endorses murder? I think your thrust is that education is a type of answer, but if so that means your answer is on our side because educating mothers via ultrasounds has cut the abortion rate. So it’s not about lack of knowledge or lack of compassion…it’s about knowledge empowering a mother against the lies that it’s not truly a child within her womb.

  • SarahJ89

    This is so well written, on so many levels. Thank you.

  • Tiredoc


    I would attempt a Parthian shot, but the horse appears to be dead.

  • QualityCCCTTC

    Are you kidding me, your observations in the gyn clinic are your understanding of myelination.

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