A medical expert on pain said Tuesday that he believes fetuses would feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation no matter what type of abortion procedure was used.
Dr. Sunny Anand is a pediatrician at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He said the pain caused by an abortion method banned by federal law would cause pain. In later testimony, Anand said he believes the more common method of abortion used in the second trimester also causes pain to the fetus.
Anand also acknowledged that not all experts believe fetuses feel pain after 20 weeks. Some believe pain is not felt until the 26th week of gestation. Anand was testifying in Lincoln as a government witness in a trial challenging the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. It was signed last year by President Bush.
It has not been enforced because judges in Lincoln, New York and San Francisco agreed to hear evidence in three simultaneous trials on whether the ban violates the constitution. The measure bars a procedure doctors call "intact dilation and extraction" or D and X.
Opponents call it partial-birth abortion.