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Born at 26 weeks and contracting sepsis, baby Aurora has defied the odds

A premature baby, born at 26 weeks and weighing less than two pounds, has overcome the odds after contracting sepsis and is now thriving. 

Baby Aurora Dakota John was born to mum, Alicia, when she was just 26 weeks along in her pregnancy. She weighed just one pound and seven ounces when she was born.

Alicia contracted maternal sepsis during the delivery. “After my waters ruptured early and with efforts of trying to hold off my labour, unfortunately, I contracted maternal sepsis”. Baby Aurora was delivered by an emergency caesarean section on 6 January 2023 at  Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran and, at just six weeks, she had to have surgery for sepsis at University Hospital Southampton. 

Alicia said “She’s had an incredibly rocky start after she contracted sepsis and got very, very poorly, but she’s defied the odds and pulled through.” 

She continued “Aurora has been through so much and is doing really well considering”.

Improving outcomes for premature babies

A study, ‘Mortality, In-Hospital Morbidity, Care Practices, and 2-Year Outcomes for Extremely Preterm Infants in the US, 2013-2018’, by Dr Edward F Bell of the University of Iowa, found that from 2013 to 2018, with infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation, “survival to discharge occurred in 78.3% and was significantly improved compared with a historical rate of 76.0% among infants born in 2008-2012”.

The study, which took place between 2013 and 2018, assessed 10,877 infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation in 19 academic medical centres across the US.

This means that almost four out of five extremely prematurely-born babies survived and were able to be assessed at 22-26 months corrected age (22-26 months from their due date) for a number of health and functional outcomes.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “Baby Aurora’s inspirational story is a testament to the improving outcomes for premature babies and a constant challenge to the current abortion time limit of 24 weeks in the UK.” 

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.