Medical experts agree that fetal pain begins at 14 weeks gestation, maybe even as early as 8 weeks. But perhaps the best source for first-hand experience with fetal pain is an abortionist. As early as 1976, those performing abortions realized that the procedure is painful for the dying fetus. Abortionist John Szenes describes an unborn baby fighting for its life during a saline injection, “All of a sudden one noticed that at the time of the saline infusion there was a lot of activity in the uterus. That’s not fluid currents. That’s obviously the fetus being distressed by swallowing the concentrated salt solution and kicking violently and that’s, to all intents and purposes, the death trauma.”
Saline solution used in this type of abortion causes intense pain when injected under the skin. This solution is injected into the fetus’s sac, burning the fetus from the outside and poisoning her from the inside. During this slow death, which takes about two hours, the fetus thrashes around inside the womb. Her heart rate more than doubles as a response to the solution, in spite of the fact that her heart is not physically touched by the solution. She dies solely from the pain.