New Study Finds More Premature Babies Surviving at 23 Weeks, When They Can Legally be Aborted

National   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Sep 10, 2015   |   9:20AM   |   Washington, DC

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a new report revealing that babies born between 23-28 weeks gestation are surviving more than ever before. The program scientist for the neonatal research network at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Rosemary Higgins, told The Washington Post: “Extremely pre-term babies born before the 28th week are now surviving in greater numbers, and their outcomes are better when you look at the illnesses they have” in neo-natal intensive care units.

Higgins, who was the senior author of the report, said the study was conducted from 1993-2012. The babies involved weighed 400 to 1,500 grams (14.1 to 52.9 ounces), and researchers found their was a “significant increase in survival” of infants born at 23, 24, 25 and 27 weeks. Remarkably, babies born after 25-weeks showed major improvements and did not suffer from serious disease or disability.

The report also found that the occurrence of late onset sepsis, which is a deadly infection, and the rate of severe bleeding in the head dropped between 2005 and 2012. However, Higgins said that the prevalence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a lung condition, increased during the period studied.

Here’s more:

Higgins pointed to a number of advances in the care of severely pre-term babies. Increased use of surfactant has offered better protection for the newborns’ lungs, and steroids given to mothers in the hours or days before a pre-term birth promote development of lungs, which normally don’t mature until 34 to 36 weeks of gestation, she said.


Fewer pre-term newborns are now placed on ventilators to help them breathe because doctors can rely more on continuous positive airway pressure machines, which blow air into the lungs to help infants breath, but are gentler on them.

Mothers are now routinely screened for strep infections and given antibiotics if it is found, Higgins said. And providers now emphasize feeding severely pre-term newborns with breast milk instead of formula, even if they are only able to deliver a few drops through a feeding tube, because of the protections it provides the child, she said. The study did not examine whether the new techniques have affected length of stay in hospitals, which averaged 93 days for newborns who survived, or costs.

As LifeNews previously reported, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine revealed that more “micro preemies” are living outside the womb than doctors thought possible. Currently, a micro preemie is considered to be a baby born weighing less than 1 pound, 12 ounces or before 26-weeks. Additionally, The New York Times reported that the study found that some babies born at 22-weeks who receive advanced medical care have survived with few health problems.

This new reality really questions the legality of late-term abortion, which occurs in at least 275 abortion facilities across the country. Earlier this year, the Center for Disease Control reported that in 2011 alone there were 9,709 abortions done at 18-20 weeks and 7,325 abortions on babies older than 21 weeks.

Additionally, the new information regarding Planned Parenthood’s involvement with organ harvesting makes one wonder if late-abortion is popular at their facilities (and other abortion facilities) for this reason. In one of the newest videos, the abortion company is caught harvesting the brain of an aborted baby who was still alive, which is in violation of the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act. The legislation requires abortion facilities, hospitals and other places that do abortions to provide appropriate medical care for a baby born alive after a failed abortion or purposefully birthed to “let die.”