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Mother whose son was born with one arm and no legs says not having abortion was “best decision in her life”

A mother whose son was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS), a rare syndrome that inhibits limb growth in the womb, says not having an abortion was the “best decision in her life”. 

ABS is a rare congenital condition in which bands of tissue inside the sac of fluid that surrounds a baby in the womb tangle around the baby’s body, causing injury due to reduced blood flow. This happens when there is a rupture in the inside sac and is usually detected by ultrasounds between weeks 12 and 18 of pregnancy. The type and severity of injuries vary but most usually impact the arms and legs.

“I never considered terminating”

Rosie Higgs, 29, who works as a special needs school assistant in London, learned of the possibility of her son’s condition while pregnant. She faced questions from friends and family over whether she would choose to terminate the pregnancy but “never considered” doing so.

Her son Henry was born in May 2020 without legs and with one arm with a webbed hand. Higgs told Teesside Live: “When Henry’s brother first saw him he said ‘Eugh’ – but that wasn’t because of his limbs – it was because of his umbilical cord”.

Henry was delivered by caesarian section at Northwick Park Hospital, and later had an operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital in order to separate his webbed hand.

Higgs said: ”When I was told my baby would only have one arm – and no legs – I was so worried and upset”.

”There was no doubt in my mind that I was keeping him – no matter what I was advised. He’s able to pick things up without any problems which is really surprising. He’s progressing really well”.

”Henry is happy, he loves sitting up in his highchair, but we have to be careful. He’s not able to use a baby walker because it wouldn’t be safe for him because he doesn’t have his bottom limbs”.

“Luckily the midwives were absolutely incredible. I was so stressed throughout my pregnancy and when Henry was born the midwives asked if I wanted to see him straight away because I was nervous”.

‘”Scans can only tell you so much. It was such a build-up and a worry when he first came out I didn’t know what to expect”.

”As [Henry’s dad] passed me my little boy I fell in love”.

“He’s perfect”

Since Henry’s birth, Rosie has received support from charity Reach, which specialises in supporting children with upper limb disabilities.

She added: “Thanks to the charity I’ve been in contact with loads of parents in similar positions”.

”They’ve been amazing. They’ve really helped me get through it. The house is something that we’re going to have to adapt as he gets older because it’s not suitable the way it is at the moment. That is a bit of a worry”.

”But he is such a happy chap and doesn’t let his disability hold him back in any way. He’s a flirt, he’s got a cheeky smile and he’s always laughing. He loves his big sister. He might not have all of his arms and legs, but he’s absolutely perfect to me”. 

Abortion available up to birth for disabilities

Currently, abortion is available up to birth in England, Wales and Scotland if the baby is diagnosed with disabilities such as ABS, Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot. If a child does not have a condition, there is a 24-week time limit.

Polling has shown that the majority of people in England, Wales and Scotland feel that disability should not be a grounds for abortion at all, with only one in three people thinking it is acceptable to ban abortion for gender or race but allow it for disability.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “Heartwarming stories like Henry’s show that, whether inside or outside the womb, a baby is a baby and deserves to be treated with love and care. Babies must be protected under the law and not experience lethal discrimination simply because they happen to have a disability. By permitting abortion up until birth on grounds of disability, there is an implication that the lives of disabled people are worth less than the lives of others”.

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

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Dear reader, 

Thanks to the support from people like you, in July, a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - to introduce abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth - failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition.

We are currently facing major threats on four separate fronts:

  1. The abortion lobby is expected to make another attempt to change abortion law to allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth. A similar law was introduced to New Zealand last year and recently released data shows that the country saw a 43% increase in late-term abortions in 2020.
  2. The assisted suicide lobby has brought forward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which will be receiving a Second Reading in the House of Lords on 22 October.
  3. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland and abortion campaigners are also running a large campaign to try and introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions to Northern Ireland.
  4. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. 

Fighting both the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies over this period has already made a huge dent in Right To Life UK's limited resources.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a significant difference.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

Q

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    Q

    Be the first to know…

    When you sign up for email updates from us, you will be receiving:

    Action alerts on the latest pro-life developments along with tools to help you change hearts and minds

    Opportunities to help protect and defend more lives

    Where should we send your updates?

      By clicking submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms below.

      Right To Life UK will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@righttolife.org.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy.

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