More than one in ten babies born before the abortion limit live for at least a year, new official statistics show.
The statistics show that out of 750 babies born before 24 weeks in 2010, 92 lived for at least long enough to see their first birthday.
Earlier this month two senior Government figures said they would like to see a reduction in the abortion limit – which is currently at 24 weeks.
Pro-life charity LIFE said the new figures, from the Office of National Statistics, were “just further proof of the humanity of the unborn child”.
Anne Scanlan, from LIFE, commented: “Thanks to the free availability of 4D ultrasound images we now have a window on the womb and we can no longer ignore the fact that abortion ends the life of an unborn child.
“As the general public become increasingly aware of foetal development, they feel more and more uncomfortable with the reality of abortion, and with late term abortions in particular.
“We are delighted that the need for change is finally being recognised, and that politicians are at last beginning to question our current abortion laws.”
In her comments on the issue Maria Miller, the Minister for Women and Equalities, said the law should “reflect the way medical science has moved on”.
Mrs Miller voted to lower the limit to 20 weeks in 2008. She said she would “absolutely” vote the same way again.
Jeremy Hunt, the new Health Secretary, has in the past voted in favour of a reduction to 12 weeks, and this month reaffirmed his personal view on the matter.
He said the moment we should deem life to start is an “incredibly difficult question” but his own view is that “12 weeks is the right point for it”.
David Cameron said the Government has no plans to change the law on abortion.
Most countries in the EU – 16 out of 27 – have a legal limit of 12 weeks or less.