Baby Boy Survived Abortion, Lived Two Days After Doctors Left Him to Die

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 28, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Baby Boy Survived Abortion, Lived Two Days After Doctors Left Him to Die

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 28
, 2010

Florence, Italy ( — A 22-week old disabled boy survived an abortion attempt in southern Italy, but doctors left him to die afterwards and he survived for two days before passing away. The boy’s mother was pregnant for the first time but decided to have an abortion after prenatal scans suggested the unborn child was disabled.

The London Telegraph says the abortion was done at the Rossano Calabria hospital but the baby survived the procedure.

Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, discovered the baby alive the next day — about 20 hours after the abortion was reportedly completed.

Martello had wanted to pray over the baby but the newspaper indicates he found the child wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached and he was moving and breathing.

After the Catholic priest notified doctors, they moved the baby to a specialist neonatal unit at another hospital for treatment — but the child eventually died on Monday morning.

Now, the Telegraph newspaper reports the Italian police are investigating the case as a potential homicide because infanticide is illegal under Italian law. Law in Italy makes it clear doctors should provide proper medical care and treatment for children who survive botched abortions.

A representative of the Pro-Life Alliance in England told the newspaper, "There cannot be anybody in the world who is not horrified by a story like this nor anybody in the UK who would not support a massive reduction in the upper limit for abortion."

This is the second time in three years that a baby in Italy has survived a failed abortion.

In 2007, doctors worked furiously 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 doubted he would survive.

And in 2008, a British baby survived an abortion at eight weeks into pregnancy and, six month later, was healthy and showing no signs of illness. Doctors told mother Jodie Percival she should consider having an abortion because her unborn child supposedly had a major kidney problem.

Percival, of Nottinghamshire, England, went ahead with the abortion of her unborn son at eight weeks into the pregnancy.

"I couldn’t believe it,’ Percival said. "This was the baby I thought I’d terminated. At first I was angry that this was happening to us, that the procedure had failed. I wrote to the hospital, I couldn’t believe that they had let me down like this."

"They wrote back and apologized and said it was very rare," she added.

Italy’s abortion law allows abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy in certain cases but it also requires doctors to do all they can to save the life of a baby who survives a botched abortion attempt.

There are about 138,000 abortions that take place annually in the European nation.

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