Russian Couple Flees to Britain to Save Their Unborn Quintuplets from Abortion

Despite dangers and risky odds, all five are saved by cesarean section


By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

  OXFORD, November 16, 2007 ( - A Russian couple who fled their homeland when doctors insisted on aborting at least two of their unborn quintuplets have seen all of their children delivered safely in an Oxford hospital.

  The procedure required a team of 18 doctors at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital working in teams of five, each delivering a baby and then rotating to the next team.

  The couple, Dimitri and Vavara Artamkin, decided to come to Britain when doctors repeatedly refused to handle the quintuplets’ delivery unless the couple agreed to abort at least two of their unborn children. They are Russian Orthodox and reject abortion as immoral.

"Our families are very religious people - Vavara’s father is an archpriest - and the church teaches that abortion is murder. Varvara and Dimitri wanted all their babies and they would not agree to such a condition," Dimitri Artamkin’s grandmother told Britian’s Daily Mail.

  The couple had connections in Britain through Vavara’s father, but were unable to travel there until they received a generous contribution from a group of Russian benefactors who have remained anonymous. The donors will pay for the care of the children and their parents until they return to Russia.

  The babies, who were born 14 weeks premature and weigh roughly one to two pounds, face serious risks, but are receiving intensive care at multiple hospitals.

"For me, that they were born alive was a miracle. It was all in God’s hands and I was elated. We will go to church and light a candle for each baby," said Dimitri’s sister Maria.

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