Anne Milton MP: "The 24-week fetus has no awareness and cannot feel pain"
By way of response, Mr Lidington, a practising Christian, simply forwarded to his constituent the letter which he received from Anne Milton MP at the Department of Health. There were no further comments: Mr Lidington did not disassociate himself from any of Mrs Milton's assertions on abortion, which is strange, not least because her letter referred to a number of 'findings' on the ability of a 24-week-old baby to feel pain, with which Mr Lidington does not agree. She reiterated these findings to Mr Lidington's constituent, saying:
1) The fetus cannot feel pain before 24 weeks because the connections in the fetal brain are not fully formed.While Mrs Milton is simply quoting the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, it is evident that this is the DoH 'line to take'. But it is astonishing that they are adamant that the baby being aborted feels no pain. It is an unproven assertion and epitomises society's callous attitude to the killing of human life. Indeed, looking at some of the research done into foetal pain, especially by Dr Peter Saunders, Anne Milton's letter appears dishonest and prejudiced.
2) The fetus, while in the chemical environment of the womb, is in a state of induced sleep and is unconscious.
3) Because the 24-week fetus has no awareness and cannot feel pain, the use of analgesia is of no benefit...
The Bible is quite helpful on this matter. When Mary found herself pregnant with Jesus, we are told by Luke (1:36) that her cousin Elizabeth was six months (24 weeks) into her own pregnancy. And this 'foetus' appears to be able to be able to respond to stimuli (v41).
But we are talking about a very significant industry here, with a turnover of £millions, propagated and led by people earning £100,000s. That some providers are apparently offering 'abortion on demand' perhaps ought to come as no surprise. But that HM Government is peddling the lie that 24-week-old babies in the womb can feel no pain is unconscionable. Babies are not terminated with a swift bullet to the brain or an anaesthetised lethal injection: they are ripped apart and pulled limb from limb while they are still alive. And then their little heads are crushed, and the whole life is just sucked out of the womb.
His Grace alerted David Lidington to the precise contents of Mrs Milton's letter and, being the honourable man that he is, Mr Lidington has admitted error and written again to his constituent to clarify his personal beliefs. But we can be in doubt about the beliefs and attitude of the Department of Health on this matter, which is why it has long been a ministry in which Christians cannot easily work.