Foetuses may develop consciousness long before the legal age
limit for abortions, one of Britain’s leading brain scientists has said.
Baroness Greenfield, a professor of neurology at Oxford University
and the director of the Royal Institution, said there was evidence to suggest
the conscious mind could develop before 24 weeks, the upper age where terminations
Although she fell short of calling for changes in the abortion
laws, she urged doctors and society to be cautious when assuming unborn babies
lacked consciousness. "Is the foetus conscious? The answer is yes, but
up to a point," she said.
"Given that we can’t prove consciousness or not, we should
be very cautious about being too gung ho and assuming something is not conscious.
We should err on the side of caution."
If you are going to use consciousness as the criteria to when
"human life’ begins and you believe that consciousness also develops earlier
then previously assumed, then why wouldn’t you want a change in the abortion