Babies who are 23 weeks into pregnancy qualify for legal abortions in Britain and other nations around the world, but doctors did their best to save Baby Connor when he was born prematurely.
Now, his parents say the abortion limits in Great Britain should be lowered so babies who are old enough to live outside the womb are not killed in abortions.
Before birth, scans revealed the baby had a heartbeat and she and her partner Craig Walkow told doctors they wanted them to save him. But they were told Connor would be treated as a miscarriage. If they wanted to save their son they were told to find a specialist hospital, so Connor parents fought for him to be moved 39 miles from Milton Keynes to Oxford.
A day later Connor was born at 23 weeks and two days weighing 1lb 2oz.
When he was born, Connor was covered from the neck down in the liquid-filled freezer bag to improve his chances of surviving. Doctors told his mother they would act if he showed signs of life and he did. So they put the little guy in a polythene sleeping bag to mimic being in the womb so he would have a better chance at growing and his heath improving in those early hours, days and weeks after delivery.
Eventually, Connor had three operations for a perforated bowel, suffered from fungal meningitis, chronic lung disease and a bleed to the brain. He also needed laser eye surgery after his eyes failed to develop properly.
But, Connor is doing better now and has celebrated his first birthday. And his parents say it’s time to re-evaluate the legality of abortions done on premature babies.
Rachel said: “We were told to say goodbye to Connor and that we wouldn’t see him again. It felt like the end of the world, we were numb.
“We just had to sit there and wait for the nurse to say the worst, there was such relief when they told us he was OK.
“Later on the consultant came by and looked in on him – he could not believe Connor looked so well.”
Rachel added: “I think the cut off point and abortion limit should be lowered to 20 weeks – especially considering what happened with Connor. “By then they are a person.”
An unborn child is a person long before that — their unique humanness begins at conception — but her point is well taken that abortions on babies, especially at this stage of pregnancy, are inhumane.