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The Beacon The Beacon Dec. 15,2016 : Page 2

2 catholicbeacon@patersondiocese.org | DECEMBER 15, 2016 | THE BEACON | STATE Legislators, physicians band together to fight to protect unborn only feel pain 20 weeks post-fertilization but that the rate of survival outside the womb TRENTON Marie Tasy, executive director of has increased. “It’s unconscionable that they be put N. J. Right to Life, stood before a podium holding a small, plastic baby doll representing through pain,” he said. “Now that we have what an infant in the womb looks like at 20 more scientific evidence, I think it’s time for the medical community to come forward.” weeks gestation. Those at the news conference cited many “At 20 weeks post fertilization, a baby in the womb is 11 inches long and almost one studies in support of the legislation, including pound and looks like a small newborn,” Tasy a 2015 New England Journal of Medicine said. “The baby has fully formed fingerprints study that showed fetal surgeons adminis-and tiny little toenails. … She is able to do tering pain medication to babies in the womb somersaults and suck her thumb — and she at the 20-week post fertilization mark and a 2007 article in the Journal of Behavioral and can feel pain.” In response, State Sen. Steven Oroho, Brain Science that found consciousness can standing in a corner of the conference room, exist without a cerebral cortex. In addition, a 2004 study in the research declared loudly, “That’s a baby.” Tasy and Oroho were among dozens of journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that pro-life advocates, state legislators and physi-the risk of a woman dying from an abortion cians who gathered Dec. 5 in the State at 16 to 20 weeks is 30 percent and 77 per-House Annex, Trenton, for a news confer-cent at or after 21 weeks. Dr. Randolph Knob, a retired ence urging lawmakers to pass general surgeon who has prac-the N.J. Pain Capable Unborn ticed in facilities including Child Protection Act, A3452 / We worry PHOTO | JOE MOORE Overlook Hospital, Summit, and RIGHT TO LIFE Marie Tasy, executive director of N.J. Right to Life, holds a plastic baby doll S2026. The act would ban abor-about seals in remains a fellow of the representing what an infant in the womb looks like at 20 weeks gestation as lawmakers in tions performed after 20 weeks American College of Surgeons, Trenton look on. post-fertilization and require the Arctic that spoke to the science proving that babies born alive during are being club -“We need to consider the humanity of these that babies in the womb feel in the womb at 20 weeks as patients. As abortions be given the same such, he said, “the evolving field of fetal sur-babies,” he said. “We make a lot of effort to pain. medical care as infants born bed. Shouldn’t “The unborn child at 20 gery has led anesthesia research teams to re-relieve pain in people born already. We should prematurely. Mounting evi-we care for weeks gestation has developed alize that pain medication is needed for the extend that same concern to the unborn.” dence by prominent physicians Father Michael Fragoso, pastor at St. and scientific journals con-mem bers of our pain receptors and necessary 20-week fetus.” Dr. John Calabro, a retired anesthesiolo-James the Less Church, Jamesburg, who nerve connections to respond to cludes that babies at the 20-own species stimuli and therefore, gist from Overlook Hospital, acknowledged was a pediatric doctor for 25 years before week stage can feel pain. who happen to painful feels pain,” he said. “Whether that a majority of the debate as to whether becoming a priest, said medical advances The law — modeled after this is suffering would seem to abortions performed after 20 weeks should can now keep 20-week-old babies alive out-similar federal legislation that be in a dif -be legal revolves around how well-developed side the womb thanks to artificial breathing be a spurious debate.” passed the U.S. House of Repre -ferent stage of apparatuses. He explained that spinal a baby’s brain is at that gestation stage. sentatives in May 2015 — would In addition, he recounted the experiences Abortion proponents, he said, argue that cord connections and the thal-permit exceptions for situations develop ment?’ of him and his nursing staff, where babies the physiological signs of pain in the womb amus, which relays sensory in-of rape, incest or if the life of — F ATHER M ICHAEL the mother is at stake. It was in-F RAGOSO formation, are functional by 20 — increased blood flow and heart rate, for as early as 26 weeks would flinch when weeks, adding that an estab-example — are nothing more than a reflex. touched not only because of their thin skin troduced in the spring and is lished cerebral cortex, which de-He says, however, that the perception of pain but because their thalamus, acting as a center currently in the Assembly Health for pain perception, is still developing. and Senior Services Committee with its com-velops toward the end of the second isn’t clear-cut. “We worry about seals in the Arctic that For example, research shows patients who panion bill in the Senate Health, Human trimester, does not appear to be necessary haven’t been given enough anesthesia to put are being clubbed. Shouldn’t we care for mem-for a baby in the womb to feel pain. Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “Animals have no cortex yet experience them into full unconsciousness experience bers of our own species who happen to be in “This is a fight we can never stop pushing pain, he said, which though known by the a different stage of development?” he said. for. We have to be there to defend them,” pain,” he said. In addition, Dr. Knob referenced the New patient in some form of conscious thought said Oroho, R-24, a primary sponsor of the [Mauro is the associate editor of The Monitor, England Journal of Medicine study that might not be evident to the outside world. bill in the state Senate. newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton.] He was joined at the news conference by showed doctors beginning to consider infants The same applies to the unborn. primary sponsor Sen. Joseph Pennachio (R-26), co-sponsor Sen. Michael Doherty (R-23) and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-12), a primary sponsor of the bill in the Assembly. Addressing those in attendance, Sen. TRENTON In an attempt to bring attention to the transportation icy decisions are made on an individual school district level. Thus, Pennachio drew a parallel between the rights needs for children in nonpublic schools, parents, guardians, edu-the majority of nonpublic school transportation occurs through of the unborn and those extended to prisoners cators and groups across the state are being encouraged to contact private contractors. on death row, saying that in 2006, the state Nonpublic schools have attempted a variety of options in order the office of Gov. Chris Christie to request an increase in funding. of California decided one of its convicted to continue to transport its students within the $884 per pupil Currently, nonpublic school transportation funding is provided murderers could not be executed because up to $884 per student, which, both the N. J. Catholic Conference ceiling, including centralized stops and changes in arrival and dis-there was no guarantee he would not feel and the N.J. Network of Catholic School Families argue falls short missal times in schools. pain during the process. As such, the judge These problems are being felt across all five dioceses in the of the amount needed. They are asking that the amount, which in the case ordered two anesthesiologists be has been frozen since the 2007-2008 budget year, be increased state. present to monitor the prisoner’s pain levels. The initiative to contact the Governor’s Office is focused to $1,047. “What does it say about a society and “Even if you live in a town that doesn’t have a problem, the strictly on the governor at this time because the state Legislature governing bodies that think more about the day could come when you do,” said Frances Koukotas of the N.J. will not take up the issue until Christie presents his budget in protection of murderers and the pain they February 2017. Network of Catholic School Families. may feel than protecting innocent human Public school districts typically use their own vehicles first for life and turning a blind eye and heart to [To contact the Governor’s Office, email http://www.nj.gov/gover-public school students. If any vehicles and drivers are available their pain?” he asked. nor/contact/ or send a letter to P.O. Box 001 Trenton, NJ 08625.] afterward, the districts can transport nonpublic pupils. Those pol-Assemblyman Dancer cited evidence with-in the medical community that babies not By JENNIFER MAURO ‘ Increase in transportation funding sought for non-public schools

Legislators, Physicians Band Together To Fight To Protect Unborn

Jennifer Mauro

TRENTON Marie Tasy, executive director of N. J. Right to Life, stood before a podium holding a small, plastic baby doll representing what an infant in the womb looks like at 20 weeks gestation.

“At 20 weeks post fertilization, a baby in the womb is 11 inches long and almost one pound and looks like a small newborn,” Tasy said. “The baby has fully formed fingerprints and tiny little toenails. … She is able to do somersaults and suck her thumb — and she can feel pain.”

In response, State Sen. Steven Oroho, standing in a corner of the conference room, declared loudly, “That’s a baby.”

Tasy and Oroho were among dozens of pro-life advocates, state legislators and physicians who gathered Dec. 5 in the State House Annex, Trenton, for a news conference urging lawmakers to pass the N.J. Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, A3452 / S2026. The act would ban abortions performed after 20 weeks post-fertilization and require that babies born alive during abortions be given the same medical care as infants born prematurely. Mounting evidence by prominent physicians and scientific journals concludes that babies at the 20- week stage can feel pain.

The law — modeled after similar federal legislation that passed the U.S. House of Repre - sentatives in May 2015 — would permit exceptions for situations of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at stake. It was introduced in the spring and is currently in the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee with its companion bill in the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

“This is a fight we can never stop pushing for. We have to be there to defend them,” said Oroho, R-24, a primary sponsor of the bill in the state Senate.

He was joined at the news conference by primary sponsor Sen. Joseph Pennachio (R-26) , co-sponsor Sen. Michael Doherty (R-23) and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-12), a primary sponsor of the bill in the Assembly.

Addressing those in attendance, Sen.Pennachio drew a parallel between the rights of the unborn and those extended to prisoners on death row, saying that in 2006, the state of California decided one of its convicted murderers could not be executed because there was no guarantee he would not feel pain during the process. As such, the judge in the case ordered two anesthesiologists be present to monitor the prisoner’s pain levels.

“What does it say about a society and governing bodies that think more about the protection of murderers and the pain they may feel than protecting innocent human life and turning a blind eye and heart to their pain?” he asked.

Assemblyman Dancer cited evidence within the medical community that babies not only feel pain 20 weeks post-fertilization but that the rate of survival outside the womb has increased.

“It’s unconscionable that they be put through pain,” he said. “Now that we have more scientific evidence, I think it’s time for the medical community to come forward.”

Those at the news conference cited many studies in support of the legislation, including a 2015 New England Journal of Medicine study that showed fetal surgeons administering pain medication to babies in the womb at the 20-week post fertilization mark and a 2007 article in the Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science that found consciousness can exist without a cerebral cortex.

In addition, a 2004 study in the research journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that the risk of a woman dying from an abortion at 16 to 20 weeks is 30 percent and 77 percent at or after 21 weeks.

Dr. Randolph Knob, a retired general surgeon who has practiced in facilities including Overlook Hospital, Summit, and remains a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, spoke to the science proving that babies in the womb feel pain.

“The unborn child at 20 weeks gestation has developed pain receptors and necessary nerve connections to respond to painful stimuli and therefore, feels pain,” he said. “Whether this is suffering would seem to be a spurious debate.”

He explained that spinal cord connections and the thalamus, which relays sensory information, are functional by 20 weeks, adding that an established cerebral cortex, which develops toward the end of the second trimester, does not appear to be necessary for a baby in the womb to feel pain.

“Animals have no cortex yet experience pain,” he said.

In addition, Dr. Knob referenced the New England Journal of Medicine study that showed doctors beginning to consider infants in the womb at 20 weeks as patients. As such, he said, “the evolving field of fetal surgery has led anesthesia research teams to realize that pain medication is needed for the 20-week fetus.”

Dr. John Calabro, a retired anesthesiologist from Overlook Hospital, acknowledged that a majority of the debate as to whether abortions performed after 20 weeks should be legal revolves around how well-developed a baby’s brain is at that gestation stage.

Abortion proponents, he said, argue that the physiological signs of pain in the womb — increased blood flow and heart rate, for example — are nothing more than a reflex.He says, however, that the perception of pain isn’t clear-cut.

For example, research shows patients who haven’t been given enough anesthesia to put them into full unconsciousness experience pain, he said, which though known by the patient in some form of conscious thought might not be evident to the outside world.The same applies to the unborn.

“We need to consider the humanity of these babies,” he said. “We make a lot of effort to relieve pain in people born already. We should extend that same concern to the unborn.”

Father Michael Fragoso, pastor at St. James the Less Church, Jamesburg, who was a pediatric doctor for 25 years before becoming a priest, said medical advances can now keep 20-week-old babies alive outside the womb thanks to artificial breathing apparatuses.

In addition, he recounted the experiences of him and his nursing staff, where babies as early as 26 weeks would flinch when touched not only because of their thin skin but because their thalamus, acting as a center for pain perception, is still developing.

“We worry about seals in the Arctic that are being clubbed. Shouldn’t we care for members of our own species who happen to be in a different stage of development?” he said.

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Legislators%2C+Physicians+Band+Together+To+Fight+To+Protect+Unborn/2663089/368433/article.html.

Increase In Transportation Funding Sought For Non-Public Schools

TRENTON In an attempt to bring attention to the transportation needs for children in nonpublic schools, parents, guardians, educators and groups across the state are being encouraged to contact the office of Gov. Chris Christie to request an increase in funding.

Currently, nonpublic school transportation funding is provided up to $884 per student, which, both the N. J. Catholic Conference and the N.J. Network of Catholic School Families argue falls short of the amount needed. They are asking that the amount, which has been frozen since the 2007-2008 budget year, be increased to $1,047.

“Even if you live in a town that doesn’t have a problem, the day could come when you do,” said Frances Koukotas of the N.J. Network of Catholic School Families.

Public school districts typically use their own vehicles first for public school students. If any vehicles and drivers are available afterward, the districts can transport nonpublic pupils. Those policy decisions are made on an individual school district level. Thus, the majority of nonpublic school transportation occurs through private contractors.

Nonpublic schools have attempted a variety of options in order to continue to transport its students within the $884 per pupil ceiling, including centralized stops and changes in arrival and dismissal times in schools.

These problems are being felt across all five dioceses in the state.

The initiative to contact the Governor’s Office is focused strictly on the governor at this time because the state Legislature will not take up the issue until Christie presents his budget in February 2017.

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Increase+In+Transportation+Funding+Sought+For+Non-Public+Schools/2663093/368433/article.html.

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