No one seriously doubts an unborn baby feels pain at 20 weeks of gestation.

Yet a bill to ban abortion on demand beyond this stage of pregnancy was withdrawn from the US Congress last week.

It was just too much for some Republican women who convinced their leadership the measure would not play out well electorally.

This speaks volumes about the state of the modern West and our approach to human rights.

It also speaks to our inability to come up with better choices for women who are placed in the position of having an unsupported pregnancy.

If we must insist on unfettered access to abortion at all stages of pregnancy, why don’t we at least have the compassion to prescribe anaesthetic?

Australia is one of just four countries in the world which allows abortion on demand beyond 20 weeks.

It is funded by Medicare, meaning we pay whether we agree with abortion or not.

I have attended a Senate hearing at Parliament House in Canberra where a medical doctor described in graphic detail the process of late term abortion. It is not nice.

Our parliamentarians were unmoved in the same way the US Congress was last week.

I’ve not heard anyone dispute the facts of the title of last week’s proposed bill: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

In the same way, no one in the Australian Parliament has disputed the facts of the methodology of late term abortion.

In Victoria, doctors and nurses are not even allowed to exercise their conscience. If they will not participate in an abortion, they must by law refer a woman to a doctor who will abort the baby.

Ideology trumps reason.

In Washington DC last week, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the Washington Mall for the annual march for life.

They were badly let down.

It is estimated that 53 million babies have been aborted since the unelected judges of the US Supreme Court legalised abortion in the 1973 Roe v Wade case.

While comprehensive statistics are not produced in Australia, it is accepted that there are between 80,000-100,000 abortions performed in here each year.

As an issue of public policy, abortion is not going away. Too much evidence is available.