"Because the fetus is unable to feel pain before 24 weeks, no pain relief is needed for medical procedures up to that time, including abortion, the report concludes. This reverses the position the RCOG took in its previous report on fetal pain in 1997, which supported the use of analgesia.At Life News there is a dispute about these findings:
"We have now advised that analgesia is not indicated up to 24 weeks," says Allan Templeton, chairman of the working group that produced the report. He adds that administering painkillers carries risks of harming the fetus.
The report concludes that fetuses under 24 weeks must be pain-free, because at that age the wiring doesn't exist to send pain signals from nerves around the body to the cortex, the area of the brain where pain is experienced. At which later point such connections form is unknown, so analgesia should still be considered after 24 weeks, the RCOG says.
When Nebraska legislators debated the state's new abortion law, it was claimed that fetuses must feel pain because they have the same reflex reactions to pain as children and adults. Templeton dismisses this reasoning. "There are indeed reflex responses, but in our view, because the nerves are not wired up to the cortex, they are reflex actions without experience of pain," he says.
The report notes that the same reflexes are seen in seriously malformed fetuses that have no brain at all, and therefore can't possibly experience pain..."
"Dr. Vincent J. Collins, Zielinski and attorney Thomas J. Marzen were the top researchers to point to fetal pain decades ago. Collins, before his death, was Professor of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois and author of Principles of Anesthesiology, one of the leading medical texts on the control of pain.In terms of the personhood of the unborn baby the issue of when pain is felt has no consequences. It only strengthens the pro-life argument but it takes nothing away if it is not used. The unborn baby still has a beating heart. Can anyone seriously claim to take an intentional action that stops a beating heart does not kill that being? Here is a description of the unborn baby at 24 weeks.
"The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child's development in the womb," they wrote.
"Functioning neurological structures necessary for pain sensation are in place as early as 8 weeks, but certainly by 13 1/2 weeks of gestation. Sensory nerves, including nociceptors, reach the skin of the fetus before the 9th week of gestation. The first detectable brain activity occurs in the thalamus between the 8th and 10th weeks. The movement of electrical impulses through the neural fibers and spinal column takes place between 8 and 9 weeks gestation. By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body," they continued.
With Zielinski and his colleagues the first to provide the scientific basis for the concept of fetal pain, Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand of the University of Arkansas Medical Center has provided further research to substantiate their work.
He has said he and other specialists in development of unborn children have shown that babies feel pain before birth as early as 20 weeks into the pregnancy..."
"Your baby now weighs more than 600g. She is starting to fill the space in your uterus (womb). From crown to heel she could measure 30cm. Though your baby still has little body fat and her skin is thin and fragile, she's well-proportioned. Her brain is growing rapidly, tastebuds have fully developed, and her footprints and fingerprints are continuing to form. Inside her body, her lungs are developing branches of the respiratory tree as well as cells that produce surfactant. This substance will help her air sacs inflate once she reaches the outside world.I do not think anyone of us would want to tie our value to being able to feel pain. This line of thinking could be used to euthanize anyone who was in a coma or a temporary state where he or she did not feel pain. I suspect that the pro-abortion crowd will hail this new study, but in the end it really has no negative impact on pro-life arguments that defend the value of the unborn baby.
You may be noticing stretch marks on your belly, hips and breasts. These faint, red or brown streaks are known as striae. Whereas creams won't erase them, wearing a supportive bra may help prevent or minimise them on your breasts.
They are very common at this stage of the pregnancy – about 90 per cent of women get them. After you've given birth, the reddish or brown pigmentation in the stretch marks gradually fades, and the streaks become lighter than the surrounding skin.
Also, your eyes may be light-sensitive and may feel gritty and dry. This is a perfectly normal pregnancy niggle known as dry eye syndrome. Try to rest your eyes as much as possible, and keep them clean with cotton wool and warm water.
A healthy diet is still important at this stage of pregnancy, so visit our eating well section for weeks 25 to 28.
Note: Every baby develops differently. This page is designed to give a general idea of how a fetus grows in the uterus."