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A premature baby born just 4 weeks after the abortion limit and weighing less than 2lbs was so small he could fit in his dad’s hands

A premature baby born just 4 weeks after the abortion limit and weighing less than 2lbs was so small he could fit in his dad’s hands.

Baby William was born at just 28 weeks gestation in January this year after his mum, Sam Dudgeon, 42, went into premature labour.

Sam and her husband, Chris, had been trying for a baby for 4 years until in July 2022, Sam became pregnant. Everything seemed to be going as it should until doctors discovered a complication that meant baby William was not getting enough blood flow from the placenta. This meant he had to be born early or Sam and Chris risked losing their baby.

Baby William was born prematurely on 3 January this year at St. Thomas’ Hospital in Central London, and despite his small size, he didn’t need a ventilator to help him breathe and only required basic oxygen support.

Dad could hold his whole body in his hands

His mum said “My husband, Chris, could hold his entire body in his hands. He looked so fragile, when he breathed you could see his ribs”.

“He needed and still needs the support because his lungs are small and can’t provide the requirements he needs but when they grow, he will need it less. The first two weeks were the hardest as we knew if he got through those first two weeks then we would be out of the danger zone”, she added.

Baby William overcame an infection and an open valve in his heart closed before he was moved to a high-dependency unit.

“The doctors were very happy and said he was doing really well, had no issues and just needed time to grow”, Sam said.

The couple were initially concerned about how they were going to get back and forth from the hospital to see their son, but help was at hand.

Sam said “Luckily for us, we were offered a place at the Ronald McDonald house where we could live close by to the hospital and that was amazing”.

“Without that I would have hardly seen him, and we would have spent loads of money on hotels and travel. Staying there meant I was a 10-minute walk away and I could see him every day”.

Baby William is now at home and his parents say they feel “blessed” due to all the help they received in looking after him for his first three months of life.

Survival rates are constantly improving

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine for management of births before 27 weeks, shows that anywhere from 3-22% of babies born at 22 weeks gestation go on to survive.

A study by Dr Edward F Bell of the University of Iowa found that from 2013 to 2018, with infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation, “survival to discharge occurred in 78.3% and was significantly improved compared with a historical rate of 76.0% among infants born in 2008-2012.”

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “This wonderful story is another example of the incredible medical advances that allow premature babies not just to survive, but to thrive.”

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.