Surviving Premature Babies VS The Abortion Law

John Warren Antalika

Just a few days ago, the ‘Daily Standard’ newspaper, on their front page cover reported a story about a baby named Abiageal, short for Ami. This baby, who, was born after only 23 weeks in gestation and weighing only 1.3lbs, survived an abdominal surgery. This was a big story and an achievement for the surgeons as this baby girl became the world’s youngest human being to go through a surgery and survive. The mail newspaper in reporting this story had as their headline, “The ‘miracle’ record breaker: Baby girl born with a ruptured intestine ONE WEEK before the abortion deadline becomes world’s youngest to survive stomach surgery.”

Although this story per se is wonderful and brings joy to our heart, yet what caught my attention in this report was the number ‘ 23.’ The fact that this baby was out of the womb after only 23 weeks in gestation was quite revealing to me as I recalled the abortion law in England. The law states that abortion can take place up to 24 weeks in gestation and abortion undertaken post the 24 weeks is considered to be a criminal act unless arising circumstances such as the mother’s life being at risk or the baby potentially having severe disabilities, can then an abortion post 24 weeks be justified and thus take place.

However what we are seeing across the board in this country is that a large percentage of babies are being born before the 24 weeks gestation period.“Survival rates for babies born at 23 weeks” writes Emine Sinmaz “are now better than 70 per cent at some hospitals.” She went on to assert that “new figures show that in the past five years, 22 out of 30 babies born at 23 weeks’ gestation survived at University College London Hospitals. Sixteen out of 25 babies born at 23 weeks at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust between 2011 and 2016 survived, compared to nine of the 18 babies born at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust between 2012 and 2016.”

Those figures in which baby Ami is included in, is a massive blow to the abortion law in this country. The implication of the abortion law in the land is that the baby before the abortion deadline is not reckoned to be human being. But baby Ami and all those who survived before 24 weeks in gestation are living proof that a baby at that stage in development is definitely first of all a living human being, not a mere foetus or a bunch of cells. And secondly by necessity of their humanity, they have inherent dignity and sanctity. The rise in technology in the sciences are proving to be critical in showing to people that at every stage of development post fertilisation, there is found a Living Soul that must be protected.

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