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Premature baby girl born at just 22 weeks shows her “fighting spirit” to newlywed parents

Born at just 22 weeks, and only 12 days after her parents’ wedding, baby Mira was given less than a 50% chance of survival but the little fighter is still here and is refusing to give up.

Shortly before the newlyweds from Nebraska, Ben and Sara Urbach were married, they discovered that Sara was pregnant, and while the news was “kind of a surprise … [e]verything was fine. Nothing was too challenging”.

However, when Ben and Sara went for an ultrasound appointment 12 days after their wedding, doctors discovered, much to their shock, that Sara had an incompetent cervix, which can cause premature birth and sometimes miscarriage.

“[Sara] started dilating when she wasn’t supposed to”, Ben explained. “And when that happens, they try to wait to see what happens, but more often than not, the baby needs to come out”.

Just six hours after the ultrasound appointment, baby Mira was born at only 22 weeks and 5 days.

Baby Mira hasn’t given up and is continuing to grow

Dr Mark Brisso, neonatologist and medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), reported that Mira’s weight at birth was just 1lb 3oz, and that her gestation and weight gave her a chance of survival of less than 50%.

However, Dr Brisso said that Mira has “thrived in her care” and remains in “critical but stable condition”.

“Mira has a fighting spirit and our team is looking forward to watching her progress and hit those important milestones as she continues to grow!”, the doctor added.

Mira is currently continuing to receive ventilation and nutrition support in the neonatal intensive care unit, and is expected to remain there for another 12-16 weeks. Her father said that by the end of February, she weighed 1lb 10oz.

“There’s going to be good days, there’s going to be bad days”, he said. “And bad days are bad, but good days are good”.

His wife Sara agreed, saying “Both of our lives were changed dramatically, but for the good, she’s doing so good”.

Very premature babies like Mira have better chances of survival than ever

At 22 weeks, Mira was born below the current UK abortion limit of 24 weeks gestation. Originally set at 28 weeks, the abortion limit was lowered in 1990 to 24 weeks gestation because, given our then medical and technological abilities, this was the gestational age at which an unborn baby was considered viable. Since then, however, medical technology has advanced considerably and the survival rates for unborn babies who are born before the 24-week abortion limit have improved dramatically, and babies born below 24 weeks gestation are increasingly able to survive.

A number of key studies in recent years have documented the improving outcomes for these extremely premature babies. A 2004 Swedish study found that neonatal survival outcomes between 22 and 25 weeks gestation significantly improve when neonatal hospital staff take a proactive approach in the care of premature babies.

A 2008 study based on a neonatal intensive care unit in London also found that neonatal survival rates at 22 and 23 weeks gestation had improved. In 1981-85, no babies who were born at these gestational ages survived to discharge. However, by 1986-90, 19% did and this increased to 54% in the period 1996-2000.

A study in 2022 found almost four out of five babies born prematurely between 22 and 28 weeks gestation survive to discharge from the hospital. It found that from 2013 to 2018, with infants born between 22 and 28 weeks gestation, “survival to discharge occurred in 78.3% and was significantly improved compared with a historical rate of 76.0% among infants born in 2008-2012”.
Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said “It is wonderful to hear that baby Mira is doing so well in spite of the odds, and we wish her all the best in her continued recovery. More and more very premature babies of 22 and 23 weeks are surviving to discharge from hospital. It is important that legislators take notice of these advancements in medical technology and recognise the need for a change in the law”.

Dear reader,

MPs will shortly vote on proposed changes to the law, brought forward by Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Diana Johnson, that would introduce the biggest change to our abortion laws since the Abortion Act was introduced in 1967.

These proposed changes to the law would make it more likely that healthy babies are aborted at home for any reason, including sex-selective purposes, up to birth.

Polling undertaken by ComRes, shows that only 1% of women support introducing abortion up to birth and that 91% of women agree that sex-selective abortion should be explicitly banned by the law.

Please click the button below to contact your MP now and ask them to vote no to these extreme changes to our law. It only takes 30 seconds using our easy-to-use tool.