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Baby girl born at 24 weeks with hands the size of a penny thriving at home

A baby girl given just a 5% chance of survival has beaten the odds and is now thriving at home with her parents Kym and Ryan.

With hands smaller than 1p coins, Isabella Evans was the smallest premature baby to be born in the UK, in over 15 years, at her birth on 14 June 2018.

Isabella had to be delivered prematurely by emergency caesarean after complications at 24 weeks, weighing just 12oz (340g), leaving doctors to fear the worst.

For the first week of Isabella was placed in bubble wrap to keep her warm and an incubator to help her breathe. Her parents could only hold their daughter in blankets for five minutes at a time.

And, at just three-weeks-old, the ‘little fighter’ underwent two life-saving operations including surgery for a ruptured bowel.

Isabella refused to give in and fought for six months in order to go home.

She has recovered well and has been enjoying life at home for just over a year, now weighing 13lb 7oz – the size of a healthy baby.

Her mother told the Mail Online: “Realistically, she shouldn’t be here. There were so many times we could have lost her. But she never stopped fighting.”

She added: “She is crawling and starting to stand up, and has a great appetite. Her favourite is a cheese and avocado sandwich. She’s so happy, and has a smile for everyone she meets. It’s incredible how far she’s come.”

Kym and Ryan are grateful for the care and support Isabella received from the NHS and its neonatal team.

Ryan said: ”There are no words for the gratitude I have. They have saved my daughter’s life countless times and I’d be nothing without her.”

Despite the fact that increasing numbers of babies born prematurely in the UK survive, in practice abortion is in most cases up to 24 weeks.

In fact, the survival rate for extremely premature babies has doubled over the past decade, prompting new guidance allowing doctors to try to save babies born as early as 22 weeks into a pregnancy.

The previous clinical guidance, drafted in 2008, included a presumption against attempting to provide life-saving treatment to a baby born before 23 weeks.

On Sunday, two prominent pro-life politicians called for a review of the current time limits after new evidence emerged suggesting that unborn babies at just 13 weeks gestation could be suffering pain as they are being aborted.

A spokesperson for Right to Life UK Catherine Robinson said:

“Parliament should urgently revisit abortion time limits. It has been over a decade since they last debated fully.

“Independent polling from Savanta ComRes shows that 70% of women in the UK want to see the time limit for abortion reduced to 20 weeks or below. Our current abortion time limit is way out of line with the rest of Europe where the most common abortion time limit is 12 weeks.

“It’s time that our laws were brought into line with public opinion, modern science and the rest of Europe.”

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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