President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address last night to call on Congress to pass a bill to ban late-term abortions. But he also took time to celebrate life.
During his speech, Trump highlighted Ellie Schneider and her mom Robin Schneider. President Trump honored Ellie, the bravery of her parents and the ability of her doctors to help a very premature baby born at just 21 weeks gestation overcome the odds.
“As we pray for all who are sick, we know America is constantly achieving new medical breakthroughs. In 2017, doctors at St. Luke’s hospital in Kansas City delivered one of the earliest premature babies to ever survive. Born at 21 weeks and six days and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was a born fighter. Little Ellie kept on winning the battle of life. Today, Ellie is a strong and healthy 2-year-old girl sitting with her amazing mother, Robin, in the gallery. We are glad to have you with us tonight,” he said.
And he reminded everyone watching that every single human being has inherent wort, dignity and value.
“Every child is a miracle of life,” President Trump said.
“Thanks to modern medical wonders, 50% of premature babies delivered at the hospital where Ellie was born now survive. Just an incredible thing. Thank you very much,” he continued.
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I am calling upon Members of Congress here tonight to pass legislation finally banning late-term abortion of babies.
Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God!
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) February 5, 2020
Little Ellie is nothing short of a miracle and could have easily become a victim of abortion.
Ellie arrived from her mother’s womb so early that most hospitals in her Kansas City, Missouri home could not treat her. Born after just 21 weeks of pregnancy and just a little bigger than a can of soda, Ellie had a slim chance of survival. But her parents had faith, and the doctors at Saint Luke’s Hospital worked hard to save the tiny infant’s life.
“21 weeks and 6 days. We thought this was it, you know, we were going to lose our sweetie,” Robin Schneider said, describing Ellie as their “miracle” baby.
Ellie weighed just 14 ounces and measured 10.4 inches at birth. She arrived on June 27; her due date was Nov. 1.
Lila Rose, the president of LiveAction, told LifeNews she’s delighted President Trump invited the young girl to join the address.
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“One of his special guests this evening, Ellie Schneider, was once completely vulnerable, but she survived being born at 21 weeks and is now 2 years old. It is tragic that babies like Ellie have no legal protection against losing their lives to abortion in certain places across our nation,” Rose said.
Dr. Barbara Carr, a neonatologist who worked with Ellie, said the hospital has had a high success rate for micro-premies (babies born before 24 weeks) after it began treating them in 2017. She said the babies’ survival rate has been about 50 percent, much higher than the national average.
“She had all the odds stacked against her,” Carr said of Ellie previously. “She had parents that had a very deep faith. They just continued to believe, we all kept working on and continuing to believe in her and she did well.”
The earliest known premature baby to survive outside the womb beat Ellie by just two days. In 2017, the journal Pediatrics highlighted a baby girl in the United States who survived after being born 21 weeks and four days after conception. The girl, who now is 3, is believed to be the youngest premature baby to survive.
Research published in 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine also found that 23 percent of premature infants are surviving as early as 22 weeks of pregnancy. However, the study also found that some hospitals do not treat babies at this early age.
Stories like Ellie’s are prompting more to start. Carr noted that since Ellie’s birth, more hospitals in the Kansas City area also have begun treating micro-premies.
A Duke University study published in 2017 reported that babies born at just 23 weeks gestation are surviving outside the womb at a greater rate than ever before. Researchers examined 4,500 babies between 2000 and 2011 and found a “small but significant drop in fatalities for babies born between 23 and 37 weeks gestation,” as well as a decrease in premature babies manifesting neurophysiological problems, the Daily Mail reported.
These encouraging numbers also are having an impact on the abortion debate. A number of U.S. states and countries, such as England, prohibit most abortions after 24 weeks, because that once was considered the point of viability. However, as modern medicine continues to push back the viability point, some people are re-thinking their positions about when human life deserves to be protected.
Thanks to President Trump, that recognition of life will be honored.