The number of unborn babies legally aborted in England & Wales following a diagnosis of cleft lip and cleft palate has risen by 150% since 2011, according to the U.K. Parliament.
At least 223 abortions were performed on unborn babies with cleft lip over the last 10 years, and the annual number of such terminations increased from 10 in 2011 to 25 in 2018, it was revealed in response to a parliamentary question asked by pro-life MP Fiona Bruce this week.
The actual number of abortions for cleft lip could be much higher, as such abortions are routinely under-reported. In 2013, a study of a European register showed that the number of abortions for cleft lip and palate was possibly at least 10 times higher than what was being reported, according to Right to Life UK.
The number of babies aborted in 2010 for Down’s syndrome, for example, was double that officially recorded — 886 compared to 482, according to Joan Morris, national coordinator for Eurocat and professor of medical statistics at Queen Mary, University of London, The Times (of London) reported in 2013. Eurocat is a European network of registers for congenital anomalies.
In 2018, Missy Robertson, “Duck Dynasty” star and wife of Jase Robertson, reflected on her daughter Mia’s journey with a cleft lip and palate and shared how her battle had strengthened the entire family’s relationship with Jesus Christ.
Robertson told The Christian Post at the time that since her birth in 2004, Mia had undergone “numerous” surgeries to correct her cleft lip and palate.
While Mia, 15 at the time, was doing “really, really well” physically and was a varsity cheerleader in high school, Robertson admitted the journey had been “long and arduous.”
“What most people don’t understand is that when a child is born with a cleft lip and palate, it’s not just the quick fix,” she told CP. “Every child is different; they don’t all fit into the same box. You can’t predict, when a child is born, just how many surgeries they’re going to have. So I’ve quit predicting how many more surgeries she’ll have when people ask me. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to sit back and take everything one day at a time.”
In 2014, the Robertsons started the Mia Moo Fund to help other families who were facing similar situations. According to the Center for Disease Control, each year in the United States, about 2,650 babies are born with a cleft palate and 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate.
In 2013, Christian doctors with Franklin Graham's Samaritan’s Purse traveled to South Sudan to perform over 80 cleft lip and palate surgeries on children and adults who were often ostracized by society and accused of having demonic spirits.
“Awareness is key to us as Christians to realize the plight of the world around us,” said Dr. Tom Boeve, an otolaryngologist from Wisconsin, in a phone interview with CP at the time. “Christ called us to be aware of those who are suffering and those who are dealing with these things. Supporting an organization that is willing or has the capability to make a difference in these things is as good as being there, doing it yourself.”