United Nations day for victims of torture

Today Friday 26th June is United Nations Day for Victims of Torture. We must keep on speaking up against torture, for all people including unborn children.

We celebrate the passing of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the United States House of Representatives on 13th May. This historic vote generally bans abortions after 20 weeks gestation, and when it allows some in very limited circumstances, the best opportunity for the baby to survive must be provided. Consistent with the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act provides that “a second physician trained in neonatal resuscitation” be “present and prepared to provide care to a child.”

The New England Journal of Medicine had just published a study on the survival rates of nearly 5000 premature babies. When babies were born at 22 weeks gestation, their survival rate was 23% when they were actively treated. When babies were born at 33 weeks gestation, their survival rate was 33% when actively treated. One of the principal authors of the NEJM study commented that he considers 22 weeks a new marker of viability.

During the U.S. debate, Republican representative Mia Love said, “...as adults we have a voice. We’re able to speak in opposition to things, but we have children that do not have a voice. Those babies that we know can feel pain do not have a voice… I want every American that is watching this today to think of their children. Think of their nieces, their nephews, their grandchildren, think of the ones that they love. Would they inflict this kind of pain to keep them from coming into the world?”

In the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania, babies can be legally aborted right up until birth. It is time that our legislators accepted the scientific evidence that unborn children can feel pain and became compassionate about protecting unborn children from the pain of abortion.

The International Covenant on the Rights of the Child states: “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”. We call on the government to stop abortions of unborn children, as a first step on those unborn children who can definitely feel pain.

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