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What Care for children alive following abortion?

6 February 2008

Media Release

What Care is being given to children born alive following an abortion?

Right to Life is concerned that 68 unborn babies with a gestational age of 21 weeks or more were terminated in 2006. The oldest reported child was 32 weeks gestation.
The information was recently provided by the Abortion Supervisory Committee to Right to Life under the Official Information Act.

A total of 44 of these children had a gestational age of 22 weeks or more. Many of these children if born alive could with proper medical care have survived. Figures from the UK reveal that survival rates of babies born very prematurely have doubled in the past 20 years. By the late 1990s 71 per cant of babies born between 22 and 25 weeks gestation survived. A study at one of Britain’s top neonatel units found that one third of babies born between 22 and 25 week’s gestation survived in the early 1980s but this had risen to 71 per cent by the late 1990s. The biggest improvements were among the 24 and 25 week babies. Babies at 18 weeks gestation have been reported to be born alive following an abortion.The Ministry of Health in New Zealand does not keep records of babies born alive from an abortion. A recent United Kingdom [UK] report has shown that babies who survive abortion attempts in the UK are often left to die. According to a government report there were 66 infants in one year that survived a National Health Service abortion. In Britain the report shows that once a child is condemned to death by abortion is born alive, no medical help is offered the child. On the contrary guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists offered doctors the recommendation that babies over 22 weeks old who survive abortion be killed by lethal injection. Do the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians And Gynaecologists support this recommendation?

An abortion may be authorised in New Zealand for a child 20 weeks and over to save the life of the mother or to prevent serious permanent injury to her physical or mental health. It is unlawful to authorise an abortion after 20 weeks for foetal abnormality. The Abortion Supervisory Committee refused to disclose the reasons for these abortions. Information provided in previous years revealed that post 20 week abortions were overwhelmingly authorised on mental health grounds. It is acknowledged by the Committee that abortion certifying consultants are using mental health grounds to provide abortion on demand. Unborn children are endowed at conception by their creator with an inalienable right to life.

These disturbing statistics raise several important questions;

1. Why are the lives of these babies being terminated?

2. How many babies are born alive following an abortion each year in New Zealand?

3. What action is taken in our Public Hospitals to provide medical care to save the life of a baby born alive following an abortion?


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