The mother of a baby who died hours after being born at 24 weeks has said the idea that a baby like hers could be legally aborted is “horrifying”.
Emily Caines and her husband Alastair have released a photo of their daughter Adelaide in order to show she was “not a foetus”.
“Our daughter may not have lived long but she was still our daughter and we love to talk about her and celebrate her life”, Mrs Caines commented.
She said Adelaide “was a fully formed human being and to think that a baby like her could be legally terminated is to me horrifying”.
Adelaide was born by emergency caesarean section at 24 weeks, but doctors were unable to help her breathe.
Mrs Caines previously gave birth to a daughter Isabelle at 23 weeks who died during delivery.
“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. Neither were a miscarriage”, she said.
“Adelaide lived for more than an hour and will always be very much part of our lives.”
“I hope this beautiful picture of my daughter being born helps change people’s perspectives”, Mrs Caines added.
She commented that many babies born at 24 weeks do live, which makes a “mockery” of the law allowing babies to be aborted at this stage.
The mother of twins who were born last year at 23 weeks and survived, has said she felt her babies were treated like “foetuses”.
Nicola Baird’s sons Kyle and Jake weighed around one and a half pounds each when they were born, and both had to undergo major surgery.
Due to bed shortages, the twins were sent to separate hospitals for specialist treatments.
They were discharged in January this year and have made a full recovery, needing only routine oxygen checks by a community nurse.
“We were told to expect the worst because the babies were born so prematurely”, Mrs Baird said.
“The doctors said before I gave birth that babies are classed as not viable until 24 weeks so prepare yourselves for bad news.
“I felt as though they were being treated like foetuses”, she added.
Recent figures have revealed that more babies born at 23 weeks are surviving.
Responses from freedom of information requests showed that at least 120 babies born at this stage have survived in the last four years.