A baby boy survives a botched abortion, abandonment by doctor, and dies two days later. In a horrible report from Italy, a 22 week infant dies in an intensive care unit, at a hospital, following an abortion. This was the first pregnancy for the mother, who opted for an abortion, after prenatal scans suggested her baby was disabled.
The infant survived the procedure. He was abandoned by the doctors, wrapped in a sheet, and left to die. Twenty hours later, the hospital chaplain, found the baby moving and breathing. He immediately insisted that doctors take the infant to a specialist and special care unit. The priest's first act was to pray for the baby, when he noticed signs of life from the infant.
Italian police are investigating the case for homicide, because infanticide is illegal in Italy. The law states, that doctors have an obligation to try to preserve the life of a child, if they survive abortion. The Italian government is also considering looking into the conduct of the hospital staff. An Italian official stated, "We must remember, that a baby once born, is an Italian citizen equal to all the others, and is entitled to all fundamental rights, including the right to health and therefore be given full support."
The case has ignited a firestorm over the legality of abortion in a Roman Catholic country. A spokesman for the Pro-Life Alliance said, "There cannot be anybody in the world who is not horrified by a story like this." This is the second case involving a baby of that age surviving the abortion procedure.
Abortion has been available on demand in Italy, for the first 3 months of pregnancy, since 1978. However, there are restrictions to specific circumstances such as disability, in the 2nd trimester. More than 200,000 abortions are performed each year, most for non-medical reasons, within the legal upper limit of 24 weeks gestation. The increasing number of babies surviving below 24 weeks, partly because of advances in medicine, has led to wide-spread calls for the legal upper limit to be further reduced.