Before 24 weeks, nerve endings in the brains of fetuses are not sufficient developed to sense pain. (via Wellness Blog)
The study was conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in Brtain; the conclusions are revealing:
The report concludes that fetuses under 24 weeks must be pain-free, because at that age the wiring doesn’t exist to send pain signals from nerves around the body to the cortex, the area of the brain where pain is experienced. At which later point such connections form is unknown, so analgesia should still be considered after 24 weeks
The study is sure to cause waves in the ever-evolving abortion debate. Consider, for example that in April a law was signed in Nebraska that banned abortions later than 20 weeks, based largely on arguments that this is the point at which a fetus can feel pain. See the complete analysis of the study on the Wellness Blog.