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“Tiny but Mighty”: World’s smallest baby survives against all odds

Saybie with a tiny graduation cap on leaving the hospital (Credit: Sharp HealthCare)

A baby girl, nicknamed “Saybie” by her nurses, has just been released from hospital having been born weighing just 8.6 ounces (245 grams) – about the same as an apple. Five months later and more than eight times her birth weight, she has been sent home as a healthy child. She is thought to be the smallest surviving premature baby.

Born at 23 weeks and three days, classified as a micro premmie, doctors initially told her parents that the child would likely die within an hour.

“But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week,” her  mother said in a video released by Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.

The Tiniest Baby Registry maintained by the University of Iowa ranks her as the world’s smallest baby ever to survive.

The hospital said Saybie officially weighed 7 grams less than the previous tiniest baby, who was born in Germany in 2015.

Tiny but mighty premmie
A sign by her crib read “Tiny but Mighty(Credit: Sharp Healthcare)

In the video produced by the hospital, Saybie’s mother described the birth as the scariest day of her life.

She was suffering from preeclampsia – a serious condition which requires the baby to be delivered quickly to avoid the possibility of the mother’s death.

“I kept telling them she’s not going to survive, she’s only 23 weeks,” she said.

But against all odds, the tiny girl did survive and slowly gained weight in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Nurses put a tiny graduation cap on her when she left the unit.

Children, like Saybie, born extremely prematurely can experience vision and hearing problems, developmental issues and a host of other complications, and sadly, many die within the first year. So far though, Saybie is doing extremely well.

It is lawful in Britain to obtain an abortion up to 24 weeks, but as can be seen in this case many babies are born before this point and survive. In fact, if a child has a disability, it is lawful to have an abortion all the way up to birth.

Recent polling has found strong opposition to the extreme abortion legislation we have in the UK with 70% of women in the UK believe that the current 24-week gestational limit for abortion should be reduced.

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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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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