Judge Jackson said she didn’t know whether an unborn child could feel pain at 20 weeks. But our understanding has advanced considerably since Roe.
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an an unborn child feel pain at 20 weeks?”
That was Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R., S.C.) question to Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Wednesday. Her response? “Senator, I don’t know.”
There are, of course, some experts who deny that fetuses can feel pain. As bizarre as it sounds, there is no scientific, objective measure of pain, which leaves its assessment open to interpretation. But by using the same kinds of inferences we make about adult pain, powerful scientific evidence for fetal pain is bucking the old consensus. Its adherents, however, want to freeze the old status quo in place.