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Premature Scottish baby born four months early, so tiny she could fit in her mum’s hand

A baby born four months early and weighing only 1lb 6oz has been saved thanks to the work of the Jennifer Brown Research Lab.

Lili Armstrong was born four months early in Edinburgh in January 2021 to parents Delyth Hughes and Marc Armstrong. She was so fragile her parents were unable to even hold her.

Delyth, from Edinburgh, said: “At times we were living hour by hour and were told the doctors had done all they could and it was up to Lili whether she made it”.

“It was a rollercoaster as we willed her to keep fighting and she did”.

She was so tiny she could fit in her mum’s hand

Thanks to the work of the Jennifer Brown Research Lab, who had helped to discover the right oxygen levels for incubators, Lili was able to improve rapidly.

Dad Marc, a solicitor, said: “They told us she would probably need oxygen for a year but she was off it after three months. Lili is flying. She is a healthy and joyful baby and is meeting her development milestones”.

The former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah started the research centre after the death of their baby daughter Jennifer over 20 years ago. The work of the research centre helped to ensure that Lili is alive today.

It is more and more common for babies to be born before the 24-week abortion limit and survive.

Earlier this year, John Wyatt, Professor of Ethics and Perinatology at University College London and also Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, Ethics & Perinatology at University College London, showed parliamentarians evidence from the UK and across the world “that there has been a steady improvement in the chances of survival of babies born at 22 and 23 weeks gestation since the Abortion Act was last amended [in 1990]”.

Scotland has witnessed the birth and survival of other extremely premature babies such as baby Sofia who was born at 22 weeks weighing only 500g in October 2020.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: “Babies born before the abortion limit are a persistent challenge to supporters of abortion. There is no good argument for abortion, but as babies are born earlier, the true barbarity of the practice becomes easier for all to see”.

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.