The Survival of Babies Born Before 24 Weeks Challenges Abortion Threshold In The UK

by in Premature Babies

*This is not an anti-abortion post. It just provides further information to prove that the threshold for abortions needs to be reviewed*


Last week, a campaign was launched in the UK to reduce the legal limit of ‘social abortions’ from 24 weeks to 20 weeks.

The campaign is being led by Tory MP Nadine Dorries and has been backed by 200 MPs.

The Dailymail featured 4 survival stories of babies that were born before the 24 week threshold.

Not only are their stories inspiring, but they show that a baby born at this gestation can go on to be intelligent, articulate children.

Here are a few of the stories:


11 years ago, Liam Watkins arrived at 24 weeks weighing just 1lb 7oz. At that time he was just 5 inches long and looked more like a tiny purple chicken than a human being’.

After spending 3 months in the hospital, he was released home on oxygen.

Until he was four he was still quite small, but 11 years on he’s completely caught up height and development.


Ellie-Suzanne Fish arrived at 23 weeks 2 days weighing 1lb 4.7oz. At birth she was given just a 10 to 15 per cent chance of survival after being diagnosed with 2 brain bleeds.

When she was born her skin was so undeveloped that her mother Beverley, 37, said “we could see the blood running around her body”.

After spending 9 months in hospital, Ellie is now home and thriving.

She has to be fed through a tube, requires oxygen and needs suction to keep her airways clear.

However, she is now able to move around, has good sight and hearing, and is learning new skills quickly.

Being born before 24 weeks is not without it’s challenges. As these babies grow, they will usually have issues that will require professional intervention. Some will have poor eyesight, hearing problems, feeding and sensory issues and a heightened risk of Cerebral Palsy. With that being said, their sheer existence is miraculous. This causes preemie parents to go great lengths to develop skills that are slow to progress.

I can’t help but think that expectant moms looking to terminate their pregnancies at this stage are unaware of the perfection that is, their unborn child.

Before my son was born I had no idea that a baby born so early could be perfectly developed. He had every feature that he has today, including tiny finger nails. We had to wait a few weeks for eyebrows and his ears to grow a bit of cartilage, but besides that no other detail was missing.

Today, he is an energetic beautiful boy who surprises us every day.

Not only am I grateful that he is here, but I would have sold all of my worldly possessions to have him healthy if I needed to.

It saddens me to think that there are professionals out there that don’t help educate women about these facts.

If you need to make the difficult decision to change the path your life is going in – it should be done long before your baby is able to survive if they needed to.


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About the Author

SAHM of 2 boys and founder of, World Traveled Family and The World We Share. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

Comments (2)

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  1. Kathy says:

    Thank you for this post — I think it is also important to remember what has changed so that babies born at or before 24 weeks can survive. It wasn’t too many years ago that most babies born between 28-30 weeks didn’t make it, or had severe problems. Now, most babies born at that time will not only survive, but will do so without many long-term side effects or issues. Technology has come a long way, and as doctors try to save these tiny babies, they get better in technique, technology, and practice. I predict that within the next 10 years, “viability” in the West will be even earlier. One baby has survived being born at 21 weeks; there will be others. Soon, I predict that most babies born at 24 weeks will not just survive, but thrive.

  2. Makeba Ramsey says:

    My daughter in a Military hospital in Norfolk Va Naval Medical Portsman Baby was just Born at 22 weeks and 2 days baby Alive, breathing they told my daughter they going to do everything to save baby. However, they decide to let her hold the baby and said we are not going to do anything to help the baby continue to live. I called beg them to put my granddaughter on incubator and tubes to help breathe they said no its our policy to not help revive a baby under 24 weeks. I decided to call congressman Hank Aaron for help to take baby from hsp into civilian hsp to help save my grandbaby. Once I spoke with them about what I was doing they said they do have a baby floor and than doctor came in my daughter room and say that she can take baby to another hsp or they can try giving baby extra help.. It was to late my granddaughter dies today 05/29/2012 please if anyone no of any help that we can get for this negligent please e-mail me makebaramsey[at] Makeba Ramsey Thank you & God bless

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