Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., has co-sponsored legislation in the U.S. House that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because fetuses are capable of feeling pain.
The southern New Mexico congressman posted news of his support on Facebook this morning.
“I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which the House will vote on later today,” Pearce said. “It is vital that we protect the unborn–the very most vulnerable among us.”
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Tex. and a former OB-GYN, drew ridicule from supporters of abortion rights – and plenty of snarky blogs – when he said a fetus can obviously feel pain because sonograms show that, male fetuses at least, are capable of pleasuring themselves.
“Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful,” Burgess said, according to Huffington Post. “They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?”
A U.S. News and World Report article today has other doctors disputing Burgess’s assertion.