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Baby born 16 weeks early goes home 12 days before his original due date

Yorkshire boy, Henry Morris, was born 16 weeks early at 24 weeks gestation, weighing only 1lb 2oz. The little champion is now thriving at home after 100 days in hospital.

Della Shield, aged 32, from Rotherham, always wanted to be a mother but faced struggles conceiving despite trying for a year. She decided she needed to lose weight to help her conceive.

She lost nine stone and was overjoyed when, in October 2022, she and her partner, Joe Morris, conceived for the first time. Although she endured extreme morning sickness, Della was always reassured that her baby was developing well and doing fine.

Waters break 16 weeks early 

However, in March 2023, four months before her due date, Ms Shield felt blood on her legs when she was sitting on the sofa. Having had some bleeding earlier on in the pregnancy, the first-time mum said that she was not too worried, but went to the hospital to be checked over. 

To her great surprise, she was told that she was in labour. She recalled “I saw the nurse’s face – she went to get someone more senior. They came back and told me I was 5cm dilated”.

Soon after, her waters broke and Della was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary, where premature babies can be better cared for. 

On 14 March 2023, her son Henry Morris was born, weighing only 1lb 2oz – just over 500g.

Henry fights infection and goes home 

Born at just 24 weeks gestation, little Henry faced a number of challenges to get him to a healthy place, ready to go home with his parents. 

His mum shared “The first few weeks were the scariest. Seeing something so small fighting – but knowing he should be tucked up in the womb was so hard”.

“When I saw Henry for the first time it was just surreal. I felt I was watching someone else’s life. His skin was very delicate, it was hard to recognise him as my baby at first. I felt so sorry for him”.

The little champion spent a total of 100 days in hospital, enduring time on a ventilator, undergoing nine blood transfusions, and overcoming sepsis and kidney infections. 

He finally went home on 22 June 2023, just 12 days before his original due date. 

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said “Henry is such a little champion! It’s amazing how this tiny boy, born four months early, has survived and is now thriving at home”.

“Henry’s beautiful life offers an unignorable challenge to the UK abortion law as he was born at a time when it would have been legal to end his life by abortion. His survival is an inspiration and gives hope that the right to life of all babies in the womb will be given legal and medical protection”.

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.