A disturbing headline from The Telegraph yesterday: Baby boy survives for nearly two days after abortion:
A baby boy abandoned by doctors to die after a botched abortion was found alive nearly a day later. The 22-week infant died one day later in intensive care at a hospital in the mother’s home town of Rossano in southern Italy.
The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans suggested that her baby was disabled. However, the infant survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabro hospital, 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. He found that the baby, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached, was moving and breathing. The priest raised the alarm and doctors immediately arranged for the infant to be taken to a specialist neo-natal unit at the neighbouring Cosenza hospital, where he died on Monday morning.
Italian police are investigating the case for “homicide” because infanticide is illegal in Italy. The law means that doctors have had an obligation to try to preserve the life of the child once he had survived the abortion. The Italian government is also considering an inquiry into the conduct of the hospital staff.