NRL News

Debate over late abortion intensifies as British mother releases photo of premature daughter born at 24 weeks

by | Dec 31, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Emily Caines, 25, has released a photograph of the moment her premature daughter Adelaide was born

Emily Caines, 25, has released a photograph of the moment her premature daughter Adelaide was born

Editor’s note. This story, which ran in October, was not only the most read post of 2014, it garnered over 15,000 “likes.”

Earlier this week NRL News Today wrote about the controversy that ensued when it was learned (as the Sunday Times wrote) that “AT LEAST 120 babies born during week 23 of a pregnancy — the last week when abortions on demand are legal — have survived in the past four years.” For now, never mind that this limitation can and is easily breached in Great Britain, the message is that this incongruity is fueling debate on the need to lower the outer limit of when abortion is available.

Emily Caines released a photograph of her premature baby, born at 24 weeks, to raise awareness about neonatal death and to reopen the debate about the 24 week “limit.”

Mrs. Caines told The Daily Mail’s Kelly Strange

“Our picture shows Adelaide was not a foetus, she was a fully formed human being and to think that a baby like her could be legally terminated is to me horrifying.

“Our hospital was amazing and did all they could but Adelaide suffered complications which made it impossible for her to survive but many babies born at 24 weeks do live.”

“That makes a mockery of the 24 week legal limit.

“Our daughter may not have lived long but she was still our daughter and we love to talk about her and celebrate her life.

“Sadly in this day and age some people still find that offensive or uncomfortable.”

Mrs. Caines had previously lost two baby girls, one at 23 weeks. She said

“My first daughter was born at 23 weeks and classed as a late miscarriage, Adelaide was born at 24 weeks and classed as neonatal death but they looked exactly the same.”

The couple learned at 20 weeks they were expecting a girl “and were relieved to pass the 24-week stage, when medics are legally obliged to help save the life of a premature baby,” Kelly Strange wrote.

But just a few days later, in December 2013, she began to bleed and was rushed in for an emergency caesarean section. According to the Daily Mail

Her husband stayed by her side as their tiny daughter let out a cry as she was delivered by doctors.

It was at that moment a doctor took the only picture of Adelaide alive on the couple’s camera.

Mrs. Caines said: ‘That cry filled us with so much hope. Her little fists were waving and I could see the doctors working on her.’

Mrs. Caines is now 20 weeks pregnant with a baby boy she calls her “rainbow baby.” She explained, “The theory of the rainbow baby is that something beautiful will follow the devastation caused by the storm.”

In the same edition, the Daily Mail carried a story under the headline, “Premature twin boys born ONE WEEK before the abortion limit survive despite heart condition and doctors warning to parents to fear the worst.”

Twin boys Kyle (1lb 7oz) and Jake(1lb 6oz) were born last September, barely the size of a hand, at just 23 weeks. Although their parents were told by doctors to expect the worst, the boys have made a full recovery.

Mrs. Baird and her husband, Colin, have been together for four years and overjoyed when the 12-week-scan showed she was carrying twins. “But the joy turned to fear when, just three weeks after their 20-week scan, their baby boys arrived 16 weeks early,” Davies reported.

“The doctors said before I gave birth that babies are classed as not viable until 24 weeks so prepare yourselves for bad news,” Mrs. Nichola Baird told Madlen Davies.

The twins were born at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Gateshead, Newcastle but “due to bed shortages the twins had to be separated and were sent to separate hospitals.”

But the boys both survived. Both had surgery to close valves in their tiny hearts, and Kyle also needed a major operation on his bowel. But now both are weighing in at 18 pounds “and aside from routine oxygen checks they are healthy.”

Mrs. Baird said of her twins, “They are a miracle. Looking back now, I realise how lucky we all were.”

Categories: Premature babies