By Hilary White
LONDON, February 4, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In line with similar revelations in Canada and the US as well as previous UK reports, a government report has shown that babies who survive abortion attempts in the UK are often left to die. According to the fine print of a government report, at least 66 infants survived NHS-funded abortion attempts in one year alone.
According to the report, by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH), about half of the surviving children lived for an hour, while one survived ten hours breathing unaided.
Under current British law, a child can be aborted up to 24 weeks gestation if there are no “abnormalities” detected. A child judged to be abnormal may be legally killed up to the time of natural birth.
In Britain, the report shows that once a child slated for death by abortion is born alive, no medical help is offered him. On the contrary, guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists offered doctors the recommendation that babies over 22 weeks old who survive abortion be killed by lethal injection.
The Daily Telegraph notes that this instruction to murder a living child “can be a difficult procedure for doctors”.
The CEMACH Perinatal Mortality report, data for which was gathered from hospitals in England and Wales during 2005, reveals that 16 babies who survived abortion were born after 22 weeks old. The remaining 50 were under that age.
But the CEMACH report, despite being the first acknowledgement by a government body that children survive abortion and are left to die on their own, is not the first report available in the UK.
In 2005, the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology published the findings of Dr. Shantala Vadeyar, a researcher at Manchester’s St. Mary’s Hospital, who said that children as young as 18 weeks had been known to survive for a time outside the womb after attempted abortions. Vadeyar revealed that in the North West, between 1996 and 2001, at least 31 children survived attempted abortions.
When the 2005 report was published, Dr. Trevor Stammers, a senior lecturer at St. George’s University Hospital in London, describing the effect that a baby born live has on an abortionist, said, “Despite all attempts at emotional neutrality, the heart does not work that way when you get a baby in front of you that colleagues on another floor of the same building would be trying to keep alive.”
In 2004, delegates to the British Medical Association’s annual conference in Llandudno voted 65 per cent in favour of a motion that said children born alive after an attempted abortion should be given the same care and treatment as other infants.
In the light of the CEMACH report, the British Association of Perinatal Medicine told the Telegraph that new guidelines were being drawn up to help doctors know what to do when a child is born alive after attempted abortion.
CEMACH was launched in 2003 by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to inquire “into the deaths of mothers, babies and children.” NICE is the British government’s bioethics think tank that publishes clinical appraisals for the National Health Service about whether particular treatments are worthwhile to pursue.
The NICE is guided by the modern principles of utilitarian bioethics and bases its decisions primarily on whether a treatment is cost-effective. In 2005, the NICE issued guidelines that said elderly patients should be refused some treatments if doctors felt they would not be “of benefit” because of the patient’s age.
The “problem” of babies surviving abortion in countries where it is legal, has created a point of conflict where pro-life victories have been won in the US. In 2005, President Bush signed into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act that ensures any infant fully born that shows signs of life is considered a human person entitled to the full protection of the law.
The bill was passed with strong bipartisan support in Congress after legislators heard testimony of children being left to die in abortion facilities.
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
New Study Finds Some Late-Term Abortion Babies Born Live at Only 18 Weeks