A baby born one week before the abortion limit and given virtually no chance of survival has defied doctors to be sent home happy and healthy.
Meabh McArdle was born at 23 weeks with several health complications and weighing just one pound.
After spending six months in intensive care she has gone home and is described as a “bubbly, beautiful and amazing little girl”.
Her mother Fionnuala is calling for the 24-week abortion limit to be lowered.
She told the Daily Mail the fact she could have legally aborted her is “an absolute disgrace”.
“I want people to see how beautiful she is and how every baby deserves a fighting chance.”
Fionnuala added: “When I gave birth to her she was perfectly formed with a gorgeous little face – I think some people don’t realise how developed they are at that age.
I think some people don’t realise how developed they are at that age.Fionnuala McArdle
“It breaks my heart that people can abort a baby when I see what she looked like at 23 weeks – I personally think the limit needs to be lowered.”
Meabh was born with a congenital heart defect and an eye condition called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), giving her a 50 per cent chance of blindness.
She spent six months fighting for her life in the neonatal intensive care unit at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital and underwent two operations.
But despite all this she was sent home, a milestone which has left Fionnuala overjoyed.
The mother said: “She’s still only the same size as a newborn, but her weight has gone up to 8lbs and 15 ounces which is definitely an improvement.
“Meabh is such a bubbly, beautiful and amazing little girl who defied all of the odds that were stacked against her.”
Abortion is currently legal up to 24 weeks in Great Britain on a broad range of criteria.
Abortion up to birth is lawful when the mother’s life is at risk, or where the unborn child is disabled. This includes children with Down Syndrome.
To hear the testimonies of people who were deeply affected by abortion, visit The Christian Institute’s Choose Life page.