Baby Born Alive at 21 Weeks Was Gasping for Air, Abortion Clinic Left Infant to Die

International   |   Deanna Kloosterboer   |   Jun 22, 2021   |   9:15AM   |   Wellington, New Zealand

Voice for Life has been made aware of a recent case involving a healthy New Zealand infant who was born alive after an unsuccessful late term abortion and then left gasping without medical assistance for two hours before dying.

This incident took place at a hospital and was witnessed by a healthcare student who was present there during the ordeal and has been left traumatised as a result.

Nicola* says that she was on a rostered shift when a woman who was more than 21 weeks pregnant was admitted for a late term abortion.

“Normally a late-term abortion is performed on babies that have medical issues, but this baby was completely healthy – so instead of using an infanticide injection to stop the heart from beating before expelling the baby from the womb, the mother was just induced.”

Nicola says that this was always going to increase the likelihood of the baby being born alive, which is exactly what happened in this case.

She says that this is not an uncommon occurrence, and that normally “in these situations, the baby is just left to die.”

In this recent case, a senior staff member told Nicola that the newborn infant was left struggling to breath for two hours before finally passing away.

“We wouldn’t do that to an animal. I was horrified” says Nicola.

During last year’s Parliamentary debate of Labour’s Abortion Legislation Act, National MP Simon O’Connor put forward a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) that specifically addressed the issue of infants being born alive in situations like this.

O’Connor’s SOP would have made it a legal requirement to provide appropriate medical care and treatment to a child born alive in the event of an unsuccessful abortion.

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That amendment was rejected by the majority of New Zealand MPs, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who voted against it.

“We were told that my amendment was not necessary, yet here we are in a situation with a baby born alive, left to die alone – and it’s just awful” says O’Connor.

Nicola says that every measure is undertaken to ensure that the mother is made comfortable and experiences as little pain as possible in an abortion, but if a baby does survive, they are given no assistance or comfort as they die.

Voice for Life National President Kate Cormack says that New Zealand MPs gave little consideration to the possibility of infants being born alive as the result of late term abortions.

“MPs were far too hasty in pushing this law through without properly ensuring that humane protections would be provided for awful situations like this” she says.

Earlier this year Voice for Life launched a brand new petition calling for the repeal of Labour’s Abortion Legislation Act.

“That petition highlights several major humanitarian flaws in this extreme act, including the lack of legal protection for infants born alive after failed abortions” says Cormack.

Nicola says that other healthcare staff called the death “sad”, but also tried to justify it by saying that the mother had “financial and housing issues”.

“We didn’t empower this woman by leaving her child to suffer and die like that. When she left hospital, she was still in need of support and help for her situation. All we did was end the life of her baby in a drawn-out and cruel way.”

“It’s actually vile and disgusting that any human would be treated that way” says Nicola, who is still grappling with the trauma of what she experienced.

LifeNews Note: Deanna Kloosterboer writes for Voice for Life New Zealand.