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Girl born two days after abortion limit with feet size of penny now flourishing in primary school

A girl born two days after the abortion limit is now flourishing and attending primary school.

Francesca Bradley-Curran was born after 24 weeks and 2 days’ gestation. Weighing only 1lb 6oz, her feet were only slightly bigger than a penny. Doctors told her parents, Victoria Bradley and Paul Curran, that even if their daughter did survive, she would never be able to walk or talk.

But over halfway through her first year in primary school, four-year-old Francesca has defied all expectations.

‘Doctors told us even if she did survive she would never walk or talk, but now we can’t get her to sit still or be quiet’

Her mum Victoria said: ““From the minute she opens her eyes she’s a constant ball of energy.”

“It’s crazy to think that the doctors told us even if she did survive she would never walk or talk, but now we can’t get her to sit still or be quiet.”

“When I talk to other premature baby mums their children are all still really small but Francesca wears aged 6-8 clothes and she has perfect vision.”

“She battled meningitis, pneumonia, three bouts of sepsis, two collapsed lungs, acute kidney injury and had 16 blood transfusions and laser eye surgery before she left hospital.”

In 2017, Francesca hit headlines after her parents took a photograph of a penny next to her feet, which were the same size as the 20 millimetre coin.

“Every day I look at her and think she is my walking, talking miracle”

Now her daughter is old enough, Victoria has started to show her some videos of when she was a baby.

“She realise[d] that she was very ill and very small,” she said.

“She saw another video where someone called her the baby with the penny-sized feet and she asked me ‘why do they think I have penny feet’.

“I explained that we had put a penny next to her feet when she was born and she decided to lay down next to one and I think it made her realise just how small she really was.”

“Even I struggle to remember just how tiny she was.”

Born before the abortion limit

Developments in medical technology mean that more and more prematurely born babies are able to survive. In October 2020 a baby was born in Scotland almost 2 weeks below the abortion limit who went on to survive. Sofia Viktoria Birina weighed only 500g and last month was sent home with her parents.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “The number of babies born just after and shortly before the legal abortion limit in the UK is increasing all the time”. 

“This story highlights a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive before 24 weeks whilst in another room a doctor could perform an abortion which would end the life of a baby at the same age. Surely this contradiction needs to end?”

“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”.

“Babies such as Francesca and Sofia are living proof of this unjust law, which would allow babies at a very similar gestation to be aborted if they are inside the womb but provided with proper medical care if outside of the womb”.

“This story further adds to the need for Parliament to urgently review our current abortion time limit. We support any change in law that would help lower abortion numbers and save the lives of babies in the womb”. 

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

Image credit: Images are stock photos and used for illustrative purposes only.

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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