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Baby born 16 weeks early home in time for Christmas

A baby born 16 weeks early will be spending her first Christmas at home with her family after spending over 11 months in hospital

Baby Ava was born in January this year in Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital weighing only 1lb 4oz. 

Being so premature and so tiny, she needed immediate care and nine weeks after she was born, she was moved to Southampton Children’s Hospital for further specialist care. Her parents stayed nearby in Ronald McDonald House.

While most parents stay at the House for about two weeks, baby Ava needed so much care that her parents Lily Walker and David Hipkiss, stayed over twenty times longer.

Ava has some chronic lung conditions but her managing to get home for Christmas after eleven months in hospital is a huge milestone.

Lily, her mum, said “We had quite a few home dates, but Ava’s decided ‘No, I quite like it here, I’m not going to go just yet’. But it’ll be nice to get back to some sort of normality”.

David, her Dad, added “It’s amazing to see… how Ava’s done so well. That’s been the thing that’s kept us going so strong”.

Outcomes for premature babies are improving all the time. Earlier this year, John Wyatt, Professor of Ethics and Perinatology at University College London and also Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, Ethics & Perinatology at University College London, presented evidence to parliamentarians  from the UK and across the world “that there has been a steady improvement in the chances of survival of babies born at 22 and 23 weeks gestation since the Abortion Act was last amended [in 1990]”.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Premature babies are a persistent challenge to supporters of abortion because the humanity of each of these babies is on clear display. In the UK, sadly, it remains legal to abort a baby up to birth if that baby has a disability”.

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.