THE human fetus cannot feel pain before the age of 24 weeks, according to an independent review of scientific evidence.
Nerve connections in the fetal brain do not form fully enough to allow perception of pain until after the 24-week limit for terminating pregnancies, an expert report commissioned by Britain's Department of Health concluded.
The findings, by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, rebukes claims by anti-abortion activists that legal terminations can inflict pain on fetuses.
It will undermine the efforts of MPs in Britain who tried unsuccessfully to reduce the limit in the previous parliament, to force another vote. . . .