British Doctors Back Medical Care for Babies Who Survive Botched Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 6, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Doctors Back Medical Care for Babies Who Survive Botched Abortions

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
July 6, 2004

London, England ( — Members of the British Medical Association (BMA) adopted a proposal late last week that requires physicians to gives babies that survive abortions the same care as any other infant.

Ibukumoluwago Adedugbe, a medical student from Imperial College, in London, called on members to recognize that abortion survivors should receive "the same full neonatal care as that available to other babies."

"If the child is alive, then surely it has rights," Adedugbe argued, stating that the issue was not the morality of abortion but how doctors treat infants that live in spite of the abortion attempt.

A majority of members, 65.3 percent, agreed, while 34.7 percent opposed the proposal.

Current guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that the unborn child should receive a lethal injection to the heart before delivery to ensure the infant does not survive.

Approximately 1 percent of all abortions in the UK result in a baby born alive, according to Adedugbe. Even abortions performed before 24 weeks have resulted in some live births.

Yet such infants are often left to die without life support or comfort.

"In one instance, a terminated baby lived unsustained without even life support for three days," Adedugbe told the BMA. "We need a policy that gives a distinctly clear code of practice for our members to follow and one that sends out a clear message at a time when the public needs to be reassured that we are a caring profession."

"We are absolutely delighted that the motion passed," said a spokesman for the ProLife party.

In a statement, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, a British pro-life group, said, "Surviving an abortion should not be seen as a mistake but as an opportunity. It should bring home in the first place that we should not be carrying out abortions in a civilized society."