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Baby born at 24 weeks the size of a doll goes home after 6 months

A baby girl who was born the size of a Barbie doll is finally going home after spending nearly five months in hospital.

Shyne Graham was born prematurely at 24 weeks and 3 days by emergency caesarean section. She weighed just 1 pound 11 ounces.

Her mother Phaebe Turner had had a miscarriage around Mother’s Day in 2022, and was expecting Shyne around Mother’s Day as well. However, she began bleeding and contracting several months before her due date.

“I remember waking up from surgery in a fog, and people were saying, ‘Congratulations.’ I said, ‘For what?’” she said.  “I was shell shocked”.

Phaebe was not able to hold her daughter for two months

Shyne had to breathe through a tube in hospital, and over her stay battled three infections, including strep throat and E. coli. 

“It was hard,” Phaebe said. “I’d cry in the car or I’d cry in the bathroom [at the NICU] but not by her side”.

“She was so small. Her hand was the size of my thumb”, she added

However, Shyne was able to fight off the infections and grew to 10 pounds during her six-month stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). When she was discharged from hospital, NICU nurse manager LaShon Pitter set up a graduation for Shyne, in which “Pomp and Circumstance” was played as she was pushed out of the front doors in her pram.

The nurse manager said “It was blood, sweat and tears making sure she was OK. Making sure she would survive whatever situation she was going through”.

“I want to walk around the block with Shyne in the sunshine and can’t wait to see her in a stroller and car seat”, her mother said.

“Just to see those babies that start off like as small as your hand and now are normal size babies…it’s amazing”, Pitter said.

It has been over 30 years since the time limit for abortion was last updated

Shyne was born at just over 24 weeks, the current UK abortion limit. The time limit of 24 weeks for abortions performed under section 1(1)(a) of the Abortion Act 1967, was introduced by section 37 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990

Prior to this change, the abortion limit had, de facto, been 28 weeks gestation set by the Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929, which made it illegal to “destroy the life of a child capable of being born alive”.

The introduction of a 24-week gestational limit in 1990 was significantly motivated by the results of a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) working party report on neonatal survival rates, which noted improvements in survival rates before 28 weeks of gestation.

During the debates ahead of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 becoming law, MPs referred to medical advances that had led to improved neonatal survival rates before 28 weeks gestation and the need for a reduction from 28 weeks.

Similarly, when the question of abortion time limits was revisited in 2008, the lowering of the abortion time limit in 1990 was again linked to the increased survival rates for babies born before 28 weeks gestation.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said “How amazing that baby Shyne was able to grow from 1 pound 11 ounces to a healthy weight of 10 pounds after staying nearly five months in hospital. Stories like these demonstrate how modern medicine can help these tiniest babies make amazing progress, and babies of 24 weeks are no longer the youngest who can be helped by medical technology”.

Dear reader,

Thanks to your support, earlier this year the abortion lobby failed to pass two extreme abortion up to birth amendments tabled by Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Diana Johnson.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition. 

In the new Parliament, we will be facing major threats on not just one but three fronts: assisted suicide; experimentation on human embryos; and abortion up to birth:

  1. The first threat is from the assisted suicide lobby. The new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, has not only voted in favour of making assisted suicide legal in the past but also pledged ahead of the election that he would make time for MPs to vote on the introduction of assisted suicide. Now that he has been elected, we will be facing a big battle to stop assisted suicide from being legalised. To attempt to secure this law change, the assisted suicide lobby, led by the multi-million-pound outfit, Dignity in Dying, is expected to significantly ramp up their campaigning to put pressure on MPs to vote in support of introducing assisted suicide.
  2. The second threat is from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and their allies in biotech firms that undertake experimentation on the most vulnerable, precious and unique tiny babies - human embryos. These groups are running a major campaign to remove the 14-day limit from current legislation, so that scientists will be able to experiment on human embryos / unborn babies up to when they are 28 days or four weeks gestation. At around 22 days, the central nervous system begins to form and by 28 days, the heart has begun to beat, the brain has begun to develop and a baby’s eyes, ears and nose have started to emerge.
  3. The third threat is from the abortion lobby. Earlier this year the abortion lobby failed to pass two extreme abortion up to birth amendments that Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Diana Johnson tabled. The abortion lobby, led by BPAS and MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International), has made it clear that they will be working with pro-abortion MPs to try and force through major changes to our abortion laws that would allow abortion up to birth. A law change that allows abortion up to birth was passed in New Zealand in 2020 by the then Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern’s Government, and that country saw a 43% increase in late-term abortions in the same year. 

If these three major threats from our opposition are successful, thousands of lives will be lost.

This year we successfully ran our biggest campaign in 26 years to fight the abortion lobby’s abortion up to birth amendments. This has used a considerable amount of Right To Life UK's limited resources since our last appeal for donations from supporters last year.

To cover this gap and ensure we effectively defeat these proposals during the coming months, we are aiming to raise at least £100,000 by midnight on Sunday 14 July.

We are, therefore, appealing to you to please give as generously as you can. Every single donation, no matter how small, will go towards saving the lives of the unborn and many others.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a donation now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?