Abiageal Peters has been described as a Miracle Baby. Born four months prematurely at 23 weeks’ gestation and weighing 1.3lbs (609g). Doctors at St George's hospital, Tooting were called upon to perform major abdominal surgery to save her just six days after her birth.

Abiagail undergoes success surgery

Abiageal was finally discharged from hospital this week, just over four months after she was born. Despite an otherwise normal pregnancy Abiagael's mother, Louise Peters, went into early labour while at home in Hinchley Wood, Esher, and Abi was delivered at St Peter's hospital, Chertsey, on 26th October 2016.

She was immediately placed on life support.

As with many pre-term babies Abi was found to be suffering from perforated necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious gut condition. Premature babies with this problem often require an operation but Abi is the youngest to have undergone the procedure, the record previously being held by a baby of 25 weeks’ gestation.

Louise Peters said:

"They told us all the risks but they didn't say this is the youngest baby in the world who has been operated on, otherwise it might have scared us too much.” ... "Bringing her home was brilliant. It's just been amazing. She has overcome every hurdle she has faced.

Consultant paediatric surgeon, Mr Mukhtar led the 10-strong team which carried out Abiagael's surgery, said: "My mother and grandmother taught me never to give up on a child.

"It's a real privilege to do this - it's amazing work. It's because we have this team of people who are really passionate about children's survival."

Mr Mukhtar said that Abiageal was the youngest patient ever to be operated on at St George’s before going on to say that:

“We will continue to monitor her closely, but all the signs suggest we should be optimistic about her long-term prognosis.”

The legal position

Abiagael's case is also remarkable in another way.

She was born at 23 weeks, and although her surgical team fought hard to keep her alive, at the same time other babies her age were being killed in the United. Kingdom.

The Prime Minister has, when she was Home Secretary spoken of her belief that the time-limit on abortions should be reduced below the existing limit. At present abortions are legal until 24 weeks’ gestation, and until birth in the case of foetal abnormalities.

It is the official position of the Royal College of Midwives that it should be legal for the full nine months of pregnancy and they recently threw their support behind a Ten-Minute Rule Bill proposed by Labour MP Diana Johnson which seeks to decriminalise abortions completely.

Johnson says: “My 10 Minute Rule Bill is seeking to decriminalise the law on abortion applying to women and doctors.” … “England and Wales has some of the harshest criminal sanctions in Europe connected to abortion.” Johnson's position is consistent with official Labour party view which has seen many MP's including former Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, campaign for more liberal abortion laws.

Dan Boucher, Head of Publicity at the charity CARE, which is one of the numerous opponents of the bill has said:

“It is very important to remember abortions are a taking of a human life and is not something that should be done lightly if at all.”

He went on to say that: “CARE is interested in the rights of the mother and the child and we don't think the removal of abortions from within the criminal law would be in the best interest of either.”