Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Teresa Collett defends Pain-Capable Child Protection Acts

Here is a good article on the Public Discourse website by Teresa Collett (president of University Faculty for Life) defending Pain-Capable Child Protection Acts. http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/04/5176 Teresa explains: “These laws are premised on the idea that an unborn child’s capacity to feel pain, independent of fetal viability, is sufficient to establish the humanity of the child and to sustain a limited prohibition on abortion. Like partial-birth abortion bans, these laws advance public recognition of the unborn child’s humanity and should be supported.” The article discusses the evidence supporting the view that unborn children can feel pain at about 20 weeks post-fertilization. It also discusses the constitutionality of these bans. On the constitutional issue, Teresa concludes:”

Recognition of a compelling state interest in the protection of pain-capable unborn children does not require the Court to reject a woman’s liberty interest in obtaining an abortion or the balancing framework of Casey. It only asks the Court to recognize the legislature’s ability to use new scientific evidence that supports a strong state interest in regulating abortions at twenty weeks after fertilization. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Acts modestly expand upon the states’ interests in the protection of fetal life and affirm the value of unborn life as recognized in the latest Supreme Court cases addressing abortion.”

Richard M.


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