Can Neuroscience Challenge Roe V. Wade?

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When I was asked this summer to serve as an expert witness in an appellate case that some think could lead to the next Supreme Court test of Roe v. Wade, I was surprised. Rick Hearn is the attorney representing an Idaho woman who was arrested for allegedly inducing her own abortion using mifepristone and misoprostol -- two F.D.A.-approved drugs, also known as RU-486 -- and for obtaining the drugs from another state over the Internet. While the case against Ms. McCormack has been dropped for lack of evidence, Mr. Hearn is pursuing a related suit against an Idaho statute, the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," and others like it that cite neuroscientific findings of pain sentience on the part of fetuses as a basis for prohibiting abortions even prior to viability. So why not call an actual neuroscientist as an expert witness instead of a scholar of the humanities?

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