LONDON, June 25 (UPI) — The human fetus does not feel pain before 24 weeks’ development, a British report says, in a finding contradicting one argument of antiabortion campaigners.
A report by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists commissioned by the U.K.’s Department of Health says nerve endings in the brain are not sufficiently formed to enable pain to be felt before then, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
“It can be concluded that the fetus cannot experience pain in any sense prior to this gestation,” the report said.
U.K. antiabortion advocates campaigning to lower the current 24-week abortion term limit to 20 weeks are expected to challenge the Royal College’s findings, the newspaper said.
Two years ago the British parliament voted on reducing the limit to 20 weeks, but the motion was defeated.
“There’s nothing in the report that suggests any need to review the upper limit,” Royal College President Allan Templeton, who chaired the review, said.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.