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New Zealand’s tiniest baby to celebrate first birthday against the odds, after parents reject abortion

A baby girl given just a 30% chance of survival has beaten the odds and will soon celebrate her first birthday after her parents rejected abortion.

Amairah Makan weighed just 490g when she was born by emergency caesarean section at 29 weeks, making her one of New Zealand’s tiniest babies to survive premature birth.

The Auckland tot is now healthy and happy, though nearly half the average weight for her age at just under 5kg, as she approaches her first birthday on 25 February.

Amairah’s mother and father, Kainat and Piyush, were told at the 20-week pregnancy ultrasound scan that their daughter wasn’t growing and that the baby’s prognosis “didn’t look good“.

At that point, doctors told the first-time parents they faced either a delivery at 30 weeks or a stillbirth and offered them an abortion.

Kainat told New Zealand news website Stuff that it was “was the biggest shock” of their lives.

Determined to give their daughter a chance, they declined the abortion.

By 26 weeks, Kainat developed preeclampsia and was hospitalised until Amairah was born weighing just enough to be cared for by the neonatal doctors in Auckland Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

Amairah’s rough first year continued and she suffered from a range of medical problems, including chronic lung disease, respiratory distress syndrome, and retinopathy. She also had two surgeries for bowel obstruction and developed multiple infections, needed multiple blood transfusions, ultrasound scans, X-rays and MRI.

Kainat said: “When she was born, I didn’t even see her, I didn’t even hug her, they just took her. We had our first cuddle 12 days after she was born.”

Amairah is now thriving under the care of developmental therapist and dietician.

One month ahead of Amairah’s first birthday her mother exclaimed: “She’s such a happy child, she’s smiling all the time at strangers, she barely cries”.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has championed a Government Bill to introduce extreme abortion legislation to New Zealand. The Bill will introduce abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities such as Down’s syndrome or cleft lip and palate.

Currently, there is a 20-week time limit for disability-selective abortions in New Zealand law.

The proposed legislation will see this time limit removed and abortion for babies prenatally diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities will be available up until birth, with the approval of a single health practitioner.

A large number of parents have publicly voiced their concerns about the harmful impact this Bill will have on people with Down’s syndrome.

Last month, thousands of people gathered in the New Zealand’s capital city to urge their political leaders to defend human life ahead of an expect vote on the extreme abortion bill later this year.

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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