Italy Doctors Try to Save Baby Boy Who Survived Mistaken Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 8, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Italy Doctors Try to Save Baby Boy Who Survived Mistaken Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 8
, 2007

Florence, Italy ( — Doctors in Italy are furiously working to save the life of a baby boy who was born alive after he survived an abortion that should never have happened. The boy was slated to become the victim of an abortion but physicians realized they had misdiagnosed a physical deformity.

Doctors at the teaching hospital Careggi performed two ultrasounds on the boy and his mother and they said he had a defective esophagus. That’s a disorder that surgery could have corrected after birth in some cases.

However, when they went to abort the baby boy, they discovered he was healthy and desperately tried to resuscitate him.

The baby, born at 22 weeks into pregnancy, weighed 500 grams (less than 18 ounces) at birth but physicians say that he had a brain hemorrhage during the abortion and they doubt he will survive.

According to The Australian newspaper, the boy was transferred to the city’s children’s hospital because Careggi didn’t have room for follow-up care in the intensive care unit.

Hospital officials are defending the doctors saying their physicians advised the mother to have further diagnostic tests but that she opted for the abortion after consulting with a private doctor.

Doctors later said the ultrasound tests did not completely show the baby’s body and that an incomplete diagnostic test with an ultrasound happens in one percent of the cases.

The Catholic Church is outraged by the abortion and the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said a human life had been "thrown away in the horrible bureaucracy of a culture that rejects diversity and disability."

It condemned the physician who suggested the abortion as "not only morally but also ethically censurable."