Calls to lower abortion limit as 23-week survival rate hits record level

MPs have called for the abortion limit to be lowered, in light of new evidence on the survival rate of premature babies.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that a record one in three babies born at 23 weeks survive past their first birthday.

The survival rate for babies born at this stage in England and Wales has been rising steadily since 2011.

’Immense value’

The figures also show that over 60 per cent of babies born at the legal limit for abortion – 24 weeks – survive past their first year of life.

Reacting to the news, Conservative MP Fiona Bruce noted, “how shocking it is that our current law does not recognise the rights and immense value of a baby at that stage in its life.

“In the rest of Europe, the term limit for abortions is generally around 12 weeks, apart from exceptional circumstances. So at 20 weeks, a baby in France or Germany has more rights than a baby in the UK. This is not right.

“Medical care has advanced and the law needs to catch up. Increasingly, these children can survive and live lives as fulfilled and valuable as any of us, and they should be given the chance to do so.”

Reduction needed

Labour MP Robert Flello echoed her view, saying he believes the public is behind a reduction of the current abortion limit.

He hit out at pro abortionists like the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of Britain’s largest abortion providers, over calls to decriminalise abortion for any reason up to birth.

Mr Flello said: “Those behind the move to decriminalise abortion are clear about their agenda – it is nothing to do with science, nothing to do with morality, it is simply a free-for-all.”


In March this year, The Sunday Times reported an even higher survival rate for babies born at 23 weeks of gestation.

The newspaper said that 22 out of 30 babies born at University College London Hospitals over the past five years have survived – a 70 per cent survival rate.

The findings prompted Dr Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship, to say: “It is utterly incongruous that on the one hand we are aborting babies at a gestation when others are surviving with good neonatal care.”

“Every extremely pre-term baby deserves the chance to be considered for treatment”.

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