A baby was recently born in a Los Angeles hospital that weighed only 9.5 ounces. The 24-week old baby, that is set to go home this New Year, now raises old questions about the legality of late term abortions.
Melinda Star Guido was born premature at 24 weeks old. She weighed only nine and a half ounces and fit in the palm of her doctor’s hand. Doctors have estimated that her mother, Haydee Ibarra, should be able to take her home within the next two weeks.
According to Fox News, ten babies weighing less than a pound were born last year and survived. A Swedish study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that the survival rate for babies born at 24 weeks was 54 percent and at 25 weeks survival rate jumped to 82 percent.
Melinda will be the third smallest baby to survive. The second smallest baby, Madeline Mann, was born in 1989 and is a current honors college student in Psychology. Rumaisa Rahman is the smallest baby to have been born, and is now a healthy seven-year-old.
Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League feels that this issue is a disconnect within our society: “Every time we see one of these children survive such a premature birth, it has to alarm us that children this age are being aborted.”
Dr. Edward Bell of the University of Iowa, who has kept an online database of the world's smallest surviving babies weighing less than a pound at birth said, “It takes a lot of good care and a lot of good luck. Most of them don't survive.”
He also said that many struggle with health and learning problems and remain below the normal height and weight range.
Concern over late term abortions has increased in Europe after a case in which a baby boy lived through the abortion, unbeknownst to doctors, and was left a over 24 hours without being discovered.
The boy’s mother had decided to abort the baby after a sonogram revealed he had a cleft lip and palate, an operable condition. The boy died a day later.
According to The Telegraph, an English paper, “More than 200,000 abortions are performed each year, most for non-medical reasons within the legal upper limit of 24 weeks gestation.”
Some argue that it is possible to maintain a pro-choice stance while still limiting late-term abortions. However Planned Parenthood explains on their site that, “Attempts to restrict and even ban abortion at the state level are part of an ongoing anti-choice legal strategy to deny women their rights … Laws that restrict access to abortion hurt women's health and endanger their safety.”