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Mum offered an abortion after her unborn son was found to have a heart condition, she chose life

After baby Carter was found to have a serious heart defect, his mum was given three choices: abortion; allowing him to pass away after birth; or attempting complicated surgery. His mum chose the final option and he’s now a thriving little boy.

Kate Parnaby found out there was a problem with her son’s heart when she was 16 weeks pregnant.

“When I went for a scan, the sonographer said she couldn’t find part of the heart. I was sent to Durham Hospital and doctors said they couldn’t see it either”.

“That’s when they said they thought it was hypoplastic left heart syndrome. I was so shocked – I’d never heard of the condition before”.

Doctors picked up the issue at a scan when Kate was 16 weeks pregnant

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a rare condition in which the left side of the heart does not develop properly and affects blood flow through the heart.

Kate was then told she could end her baby’s life by abortion; the doctors could provide palliative care after he was born until he passed away; or they could attempt complicated surgery to try to repair the problem.

The mum from Durham said “I didn’t know whether Carter would make it, but I knew I had to give him a chance to live, however small it was”.

Her son, Carter, was born in July 2021 and had to have open heart surgery just three days later. He had a follow-up surgery in March last year.

Kate said “He’s made a really good recovery after the second surgery”.

“After the operation, he was playing with all the other babies his age in there, and he had a smile for everyone”.

After all these interventions though, he’s now at home and will have a third and final surgery when he is five and may need a heart transplant later in life.

His mum said “To look at Carter now you would never know he has just half a working heart. He’s constantly on the go and full of life. He’s doing so well, I am so proud of him”.

“I don’t know what the future holds for Carter”, she added, “but for the moment he’s loving playing with his friends and making the most of life”.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “The amazing advances in modern medicine have given Carter a chance to beat the odds. It is sad though that his mother was offered an abortion when abortion is not a treatment for a heart condition.”

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.