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In a phone call Tuesday, Wyatt said a fetus whose amniotic sac has burst and is being contracted by the uterine muscle — as Cathey described — doesn't feel pain. He said he was answering for Mayberry.
Mayberry, who characterized his bill as addressing a "moral dilemma," was also patronizing. Women who choose to have an abortion after 20 weeks "would benefit from a lot of counseling, from someone sitting down and putting their arms around them and saying 'I love you and I love that child' and hoping that person would make the right decision." He said there were "instances where she might not be educated as to what life is and when it begins."
Mayberry would educate women with information provided by Dr. Emedio Novembre, an osteopath anesthesiologist who is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, that the fetus has receptors needed to feel pain at 20 weeks. Novembre cites the research of Dr. Sunny Anand, formerly affiliated with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Novembre did not mention that Anand, now a professor of pediatrics, anesthesiology, anatomy and neurobiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has said that, in some circumstances, he is pro-choice.
4. Politics. In 2011, with Democrats in the majority, 10 of 11 anti-abortion bills were defeated. Seven of them died in the House health committee. The committee's chair, Rep. Linda Tyler, ran for the Senate last year and lost to Rapert.
Now, with Republicans in the majority, legislators who have taken a pro-choice stand in the past are caving in to the new Republican majority. The reasons they give to abortion rights supporters for throwing women under the bus is that they need to save up their chits for bigger issues, like Medicaid expansion. Others say they are pro-choice, but if they want to be re-elected to vote right on other progressive legislation, they've got to vote against their inclinations.
The insurance exchange bill filed by Wilkins could ruin women financially, Sklar said, because they'll have to pay out-of-pocket hospital and doctor charges that will run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
"The sad thing about the exchange bill is that it will affect the most expensive abortions, performed on very sick women, women with babies with lethal fetal anomalies or the victims of rape or incest who've been afraid to come forward — children mostly." The numbers will be small, but they exist.
Wilkins introduced the insurance bill in the 2011 legislative session as well (it failed then), but he has been seen as someone who can be relied on to support exclusions for rape and incest. It was hoped he could persuade Mayberry to accept such exclusions as an amendment to his fetal pain bill, but in questioning by Wilkins, Mayberry was adamant that he would not accept such an amendment.
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