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Baby with disability born before UK abortion limit for babies with disabilities now thriving

A baby born below the abortion limit for disabled babies in the UK is now three months old and doing well.

Archie Burns was born ten weeks early in August of this year in Pinderfields Hospital Wakefield. Weighing only 2b 12oz and with complex medical issues, he was extremely vulnerable.

Archie’s oesophagus was not connected to his stomach and his stomach was connected to his windpipe. After a series of operations and two weeks in an incubator, and a further nine weeks in the hospital he is now a healthy 7lb baby at home with his mum and dad.

His dad, Chris Burns, said: “Only really now that Archie has grown to a normal birth weight’, we realise just how vulnerable he was when he was born at 2lb 12oz, 10 weeks prematurely back in August”.

Archie will still need some corrective surgeries over the next few years but he should grow to be a perfectly healthy and happy child.

Disability abortion

Abortion in the UK is legal up until birth for a child with a disability. Archie’s medical conditions meant that, even at 30 weeks gestation where he was able to survive outside of the womb and if his parents had wanted, he could have been legally aborted in the UK.

Every year in this country babies are aborted for minor and easily treatable disabilities like cleft lip/palate. The latest abortion statistics reveal that in 2019 seventeen abortions were performed on babies with a cleft lip or palateThree of those taking place between 24 weeks and birth.

According to DoHSC statistics, 75 babies with either a cleft lip or cleft palate as their principal condition were aborted between 2011 and 2018.

Sadly, the figures for cleft lip and palate are likely to be much higher, for example a 2013 review by Eurocat showed 157 babies were aborted with cleft lip and palate in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. However, the DoHSC has only recorded 14 such abortions.


The discriminatory nature of the disability abortion law in the UK is currently being challenged in the High Court in London. The Court will hear a landmark case against the UK Government over the country’s discriminatory abortion legislation, which singles out babies with disabilities by allowing terminations right through to birth for conditions including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said:

“Heartwarming stories like Archie’s show that inside or outside the womb, a baby is a baby and deserves to be treated with love and care. The appalling discrimination in the law which allows for abortion up until the birth of a child if the child is disabled in any way must end. Babies, inside or outside of the womb, should be protected under the law and not experience lethal discrimination because of it”.

Dear reader,

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