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Girl born 12 weeks early gets ready for first day at school

Polly Richardson survived a bleed on the brain and was resuscitated three times after being born 12 weeks early, weighing just 2lb 5oz. The little girl from Stockton is now four years old and excitedly getting ready for her first day at school. 

Touch and go when mum goes into labour at 28 weeks

At 28 weeks pregnant, Samantha Richardson became unwell with an infection and her waters broke. When Polly arrived 12 weeks before her due date, her parents, Samantha and Phil, endured several days of expecting the worst. In her first few days, Polly stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated. 

Mum, Samantha, was scared about what it could mean for Polly and the family. She said “I was reading up on everything, I was thinking about what the future would mean and how we would have to adapt our lives and the impact it would have on the whole family”.

‘Pocket rocket’ Polly defies expectations

Amazingly, Polly defied expectations. She left hospital when she weighed 5lb and did not need oxygen any more. As a nurse, Samantha had been expecting serious complications for Polly, knowing that it is common for premature babies to face medical difficulties.

Despite having several children already, Samantha recalls “I felt like a first time new mam again, like I didn’t know what I was doing, especially in the neo-natal ward”. 

Her mum affectionately calls Polly her “pocket rocket” and has marvelled at how her little girl has met all of her physical developmental milestones. Polly is now looking forward to starting school in September. 

The prospects for premature babies are improving all the time

The prospects for premature babies are constantly improving. Last 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 showing “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 “Good luck to Polly on her first day at school! It’s wonderful to see how medical advances are supporting babies born prematurely to thrive as they grow up”. 

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.