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THE BABY WHO SURVIVED THREE ABORTIONS; Boy is born alive at 24 weeks.

Byline: REBECCA SMITH

A BABY survived at least three attempts to abort him before he was born alive at 24 weeks old.

The boy was delivered by doctors in hospital - just hours after his mother left an abortion clinic.

She claimed she had been told that an ultrasound scan had confirmed the child was dead - but shortly afterwards she went into labour.

The 24-year-old mum - who has not been named - changed her mind about wanting to keep the baby after she felt him move on her way home.

Her son is now two years old and is the first long-term abortion survivor to have been born so prematurely.

The mum only discovered she was pregnant at 22 weeks and felt she could not cope with a second child.

She was given a series of abortion drugs over four days at a private clinic. After the baby was born he was rushed to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit where he was on a ventilator for seven-and-a-half weeks.

He fought off several life-threatening infections and severe lung disease and was allowed home after seven months.

The case is documented in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Report author Dr Paul Clarke said: "This mother went through extreme hardship waiting to see if her baby was going to make it. She was told to expect him to die so many times. I am full of admiration for her."

The attempted abortions were carried out at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service's Blackdown clinic in Leamington Spa, Warks.

The boy was born at Hope hospital in Salford, Greater Manchester. Dr Clarke revealed that paediatricians often intervene to save babies who have survived abortions.

He writes: "Late abortions raise serious practical, ethical and professional concerns. The dilemma of being telephoned about an infant born showing signs of life following termination of pregnancy is one that many paediatricians have faced."

He called for a review of late abortions at private clinics where there are no staff qualified to give emergency treatment if babies are born alive.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: "It sounds highly unusual. Usually we would keep a woman at the clinic until she delivered the foetus.

"When women are having a late medical abortion they are normally attended in the clinic by nursing staff with specialist midwifery training.

"It would never be the case that a woman would be discharged with the expectation she would deliver at home."

The legal limit for abortion in the UK is 24 weeks.

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OP: Clinic and BPAS's Ann Furedi; BIRTH: Where boy was born
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 14, 2005
Words:435
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