fbpx
Select Page

Unborn babies see more than we first thought, study reveals

The developing eyes of unborn babies are far more complex than scientists first thought, new research suggests.

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley found that, by the thirteenth week of pregnancy, light-sensitive cells in the retinas of developing babies interact with each other in an interconnected network and could affect brain development in unsuspected ways.

Incredibly, the scientific breakthrough could help explain problems such as light-induced migraines or why light therapy works for depression.

It was previously thought that unborn babies could not see at this point in their development.

However, the recent discovery has gone beyond known information that already found babies in the womb sensed light at sixteen weeks in order to become accustomed to 24-hour, day-night rhythms.

Marla Feller, who is a UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and has spent 20 years of studying the developing retina, said:

“In the past, people demonstrated that these light-sensitive cells are important for things like the development of the blood vessels in the retina and light entrainment of circadian rhythms, but those were kind of a light on/light off response, where you need some light or no light.

“This seems to argue that they are actually trying to code for many different intensities of light, encoding much more information than people had previously thought.”

Two years ago, it was revealed that babies may be able to recognise faces while still in the womb.

Researchers at Lancaster University found unborn babies would turn their heads towards shapes which resemble faces – with the position of eyes and nose picked out.

Their study, which was conducted on 39 expectant mothers who were 34 weeks (8 months) pregnant, suggests that the instinct to recognise facial features develops before a baby has even seen their first face.

It also shows that an unborn baby’s senses are already well developed and parents should begin interacting with their baby while it is still in the womb.

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

Article Syndication

Join other leading publications from around the world who syndicate our articles

Syndicate this article
Syndicate now

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:

Article Syndication

Join other leading publications from around the world who syndicate our articles

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

Syndicate this article
Syndicate now