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Premature twins born before legal abortion limit now flourishing at home

Premature twins born five days apart have beaten the odds to become among the youngest to survive premature birth in Britain.

Dolly was born at just 23 weeks and one day weighing just 1lb and 1oz (482g). Five days later Albert was born weighing 1lb 6oz (624g).

The twins are now flourishing at home with parents Shona and Darren.

Dental nurse Shona Jeffery’s pregnancy had been developing as expected until she went into labour when she was just 22 weeks and six days pregnant.

After rushing to her local hospital, the couple were told that their babies were too young to save.

“They said there was nothing they could do for us and sorry that we had lost our babies as they was under the 23 weeks,” Shona told the Sun.

“They had no facilities to help if they arrived. They would just pass them to us once they had been born and they then put us in a room for this to happen.”

But, despite her waters breaking and contractions beginning, Shona did not give birth.

Then, as the clock struck midnight Darren and Shona received some hopeful news.

As Shona had reached 23 weeks – one week shy of the 24-week legal limit for abortions in England and Wales – doctors were willing to intervene and try and save the babies.

Shona was given steroids to help boost the twins’ still-growing lungs and she was sent by ambulance to Brighton Hospital.

The couple were warned that if the twins were delivered on the way to Brighton that they’d not survive the journey.

“Thankfully, we made it there fine,” Shona said.

One day later, two teams of specialists helped deliver Dolly at 23 weeks and one day.

Surprisingly, Shona’s labour stopped.

Doctors then told Shona she could deliver the second twin at any point but could also end up going full term.

However, the wait wasn’t too long.

Five days later Albert was delivered naturally, at 23 weeks and 6 days.

“That was when the real battle began. Watching them fighting for their life each day,” Shona said.

“But every day they grew a little bit more and became a little bit stronger.”

Both twins needed eye surgery and Dolly had an operation to fix a hole in her heart.

In March, Albert, the stronger of the twins was discharged from a neonatal intensive care unit and was allowed home.

And last month, to the family’s joy, Dolly also left hospital.

Darren, a landscape gardener said: “Against the odds our little miracles have survived and shocked everyone and have come home.

“Every doctor we have spoken to said we should count our lucky stars. They are just so precious to us.”

Dr Asma Khalil, a spokesman for Tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association), said: “The fact that these babies are now doing well is incredible.

“Twin pregnancies delivered at 23 weeks would have far poorer chances of survival compared to a singleton pregnancy.

“Of babies born at 23-24 weeks, only about 50 per cent would survive and 50 per cent of the survivors would have some sort of disability.

“It would be fair to say that in circumstances where twins are born this early, most doctors would be preparing the family for the worst.

“So the fact these babies are now doing well, months on, is incredible.”

Last year, it was revealed that the survival rate for extremely premature babies has doubled over the past decade, prompting new guidance allowing doctors to try to save babies born as early as 22 weeks into a pregnancy.

Additionally, a recent study has revealed the majority of premature babies grow up to be healthy adults without any major health problems.

Sadly, it is currently legal in Great Britain to abort unborn babies up to 24 weeks, or up to birth if doctors believe the baby will be born with a disability.

In 2018, the latest year with published data, 845 live births were recorded in England of babies with a gestational age of less than 24 weeks, according to the Office for National Statistics

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson said: “It has been over a decade since abortion time limits were last debated fully in Parliament, in 2008. Since then the survival rate for premature babies has doubled.

“Our current abortion time limit, at 24 weeks, is way out of line with medical breakthroughs and the rest of Europe where the most common abortion time limit is 12 weeks, making time limits an issue Parliament should urgently revisit.”“Additionally, independent polling from ComRes shows that 70% of women in the UK want to see the time limit for abortion reduced to 20 weeks or below.”

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Dear reader,

Thanks to the support of people like you, on Monday 5 July, a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Police , Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill with two extreme abortion proposals failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this major defeat is not the end for our opposition.

The abortion lobby has already been successful at using the Coronavirus crisis to temporarily introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions.

The policy has not only accompanied a large increase in the number of lives ended by abortion but has also been linked to a number of serious incidents where women’s lives have been put at risk while performing their abortion at home.

Our opposition is now eager to see more widespread changes to legislation enacted and we are currently facing major threats on three fronts:

  1. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.
  2. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland.
  3. The assisted suicide lobby has brought foward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 May.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. We can’t sit on the sidelines and watch these extreme anti-life changes become a reality.

As you can see, while we have won our most recent battle, we continue to be facing a very large challenge on life issues in the UK over the next couple of months – and we will be facing this across multiple fronts.

We are, therefore, appealing to you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will go towards saving the lives of the unborn and many others.

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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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.

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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