Herald Sun (Aust) September 01, 2009
A GROWING number of induced babies are born alive following failed late-term abortions. New Queensland Health figures show 19 babies were aborted at 20 weeks or more in 2007, but rather than dying at birth as intended, the newborns were able to breathe unaided. The babies, some as advanced as 26 weeks, were aborted using drugs to induce labour. Once born, no medical help was offered and they died soon afterwards.
Former Queensland Health obstetrician Dr Caroline de Costa, now a professor at James Cook University in Cairns, said it was extremely distressing for parents and medical staff when terminations went wrong . “If babies are born alive after this they are likely to die within a few minutes, although it can take up to half an hour,” she said. “We can only keep them wrapped up warm. It is up to the parents whether they want to see the child.” The figures – obtained under the Freedom of Information Act – reveal one in four abortions performed at 20 weeks and more went wrong in 2007, up 20 per cent on 2003.