(OPINION) – The Sun – Scientists claim unborn babies may be able to feel pain before reaching 24 weeks – meaning they may suffer before being aborted. Medical opinion has said that a fetus will not experience pain before reaching 24 weeks – after which abortion is illegal in Britain except in special cases.

But two medical researchers say recent studies strongly suggest the assumption is incorrect – and that research indicates unborn babies may feel ‘something like pain’ as early as 13 weeks gestation. In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME), the pair argue that women who opt for abortions that have reached 13 weeks should be informed the fetus could experience pain while being aborted.

They also say medical staff should ask if the woman wants the fetus to be given pain relief. The lead author of the controversial article is British professor Stuart Derbyshire, who has acted as a consultant to the Pro-Choice Forum in the UK and Planned Parenthood, a leading American pro-choice organization and American medic John Bockmann. READ MORE

The Sun is a tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. As a broadsheet, it was founded in 1964 as a successor to the Daily Herald