April 29, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — The UK's tiniest baby to be born in sixteen years has returned home to live with her parents, Kim Brown and Ryan Evans in Tewkesbury village, after she defied the medical odds.
Isabella Evans was smaller than a packet of baby wipes when she was born prematurely at only twenty-four weeks old — the current UK abortion time limit. Weighing only twelve ounces, doctors gave Isabella a slim five percent chance of survival. However, the premature girl whose hands were smaller than a one-pence piece refused to give up on life.
Describing Isabella as 'their little fighter', Isabella's mother, Ms Brown, underwent an emergency caesarean after doctors discovered Isabella had stopped developing at 21 weeks with her heartbeat beginning to slow.
Doctors warned the parents of their daughter's slim chance of survival. Speaking to ITV News, Ms Brown said: “That was the first time we heard that she might not make it. They said if they bring her over to us for a cuddle, she hasn't made it. That's when it hit that she might not [survive].”
When born, Isabella weighed less than a can of juice and underwent two life-saving operations. During the first week of her life, Isabella's parents could only hold her in blankets for just five minutes at a time. However, parents Kim and Ryan were determined that she was 'going to be just like any other child.'
Against all odds
Isabella is not the first baby to be born before the UK's 24-week abortion time-limit and survive. In 2016, Amelia Taylor was born at 21 weeks and six days old, a whole two weeks before the existing abortion cut-off. Amelia is one of the world's youngest premature babies to ever survive. Similarly, in 2013, Lucas Georgiou was born at just 23 weeks gestation. Lucas was taken into neonatal intensive care but was not expected to survive. However, four months later he left the hospital a healthy baby.
The increasing survival rates
Despite the increasing numbers of premature children now being born and surviving before the UK's legal limit for abortion, the cut-off point of 24 weeks remains unaffected. Current UK practice under the 1967 Abortion Act is allowing a woman to undergo an abortion until the 24th week of pregnancy, for any reason. Thereafter, abortions can ensue until birth, if the unborn child is suspected to possess a foetal anomaly.
Evidence provided by Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, John Wyatt, shows that a baby born at 23 weeks old has a 50% chance of surviving. His evidence illustrates that 30 years ago, less than 20% of babies born before 28 weeks of gestation survived. However, advances in medical care at the beginning of life have transformed the prospects of survival for premature babies. Currently in the UK more than 80% of babies born extremely prematurely will survive. His studies further suggest that significant improvements in survival rates can be achieved when maternity and neonatal units provide consistent staffing, resources and treatment policies.
SPUC Parliamentary Director, Michael Robinson said: “Every innocent human life is deserving of basic protection and support regardless of developmental stage or ability. The increasing number of babies now surviving our abortion 'time limit' highlights the nonsensical pro-abortion attitude that burdens our country.”
He continued: “It is barbaric to consider that innocent human life is being destroyed at any point of development. Efforts should be made to save and preserve human life regardless of developmental age. Indeed, it is chilling to think that in the same hospital where baby Isabella was, rightfully, looked after with love and care other children at the same stage of foetal development can be targeted for abortion”.
Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
Correction May 2, 2019: The headline has been corrected to state that the baby was born at 24 weeks, not 21.