By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

ROSSANO, Italy, April 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Italian government has announced that it will launch an investigation of a hospital where a premature baby born alive following an attempted abortion was left to die for hours, before receiving medical attention thanks to the intervention of a priest.

"If the reports are correct we are talking about a grave case of therapeutic abandonment of a very premature newborn, probably also with some form of disability: an act against the sense of human pity but also against all ethics of medical practice," said Eugenia Roccella, the Italian Subsecretary of Health.

"The Ministry of Health will send its inspectors to Rossano Calabro hospital to see that the case is effectively addressed, and to verify that respect has been shown for law 194, which prohibits abortion when there is the possibility of an autonomous life for the fetus, and allows it only if the continuation of the pregnancy is dangerous to the life of the woman," Roccella added.

The baby, who was at 22 weeks gestation, was aborted in a hospital in Rossano reportedly because he suffered from a deformity, although the mother has also claimed that the pregnancy posed a medical risk. After surviving the doctor's attempt to kill him, the infant was given no medical treatment and was left to die.

According to reports in the Italian media, the situation was discovered by a priest, who had heard of the abortion and had come to pray for the soul of the infant.

However, he was shocked to find that the child was moving and breathing, wrapped in a sheet and lying unattended with his umbilical cord still attached.  He reported the situation to the doctors, who then placed the child in intensive care in a neighboring hospital.  However, he died only a few hours later.

In addition to the investigation by the national health ministry, local officials in Rossano are also reportedly investigating the case to determine if there was negligence on the part of doctors.

Many similar cases of children left to die after surviving abortions have been documented in the American media as well, prompting the passage of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was signed into law in 2002. Barack Obama, the current U.S. president, had infamously opposed a state version of the bill while serving as a senator in Illinois.


Related LifeSiteNews coverage:

How Babies Were Left to Die: Nurse Recounts Horrors of Infanticide Practice Barack Obama Protected
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08081209.html

66 British Babies Survived Abortion - All Were Left to Die Without Medical Aid
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/feb/08020408.html