The baby’s mother had opted for an abortion at a hospital in Italy after prenatal scans suggested that her baby was disabled. However, the infant survived the procedure and was left by doctors to die. He was discovered alive the following day – some 20 hours after the operation – by Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, who had gone to pray beside his body. Sadly, the 22-week infant died one day later in the intensive care unit.
Italian police are investigating the case for “homicide” because infanticide is illegal in Italy.
This law means that doctors have an obligation to try to preserve the life of the child once he had survived the abortion. Since 1978, abortion has been available on demand in Italy in the first three months of pregnancy but is restricted to specific circumstances – such as disability- in the second trimester. The government is considering a review of the working of the laws.
The case is causing an uproar in Italy because it is the second involving a foetus of that age surviving the procedure in just three years.
Also, many were enraged when it was reported that the mother decided to abort her baby because it had a cleft lip and palate, a condition that could be treated through reconstructive surgery.
More than 200,000 abortions are performed each year, most for non-medical reasons, but many are still fighting against this trend. In 2005 a baby boy in Manchester was born alive at 24 weeks after surviving three attempts to abort him. He is now a five-year-old schoolboy. Read here on abortion in Singapore.
Brings us to the question – should late-term abortions be outlawed? What do you think?