Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When during pregnancy are medical tests given to determine if babies have a life threatening or serious illness?

    Usually during the first and second trimesters.

  2. What are typical illnesses of infants where doctors advise an induced labor abortion?

    Fatal anomalies where the newborn is predicted to live hours to months or are correctable only with extraordinary means include anencephaly; chromosomal abnormalities such as Trisomy 13, Trisomy 16, Trisomy 18, tetraploidy, and 4p-syndrome; complex heart lesions; holoprosencephaly; infantile polycystic kidney disease; lethal dwarfing syndromes; Niemann-Pick Type A disease; renal agenesis; Tay-Sachs disease, and Vitamin B-12 nonresponsive methylmalonic academia*

    Nonfatal anomalies include cystic fibrosis; moderate to severe mental retardation; spina bifida; teratogens or viral exposure such as fetal rubella or HIV; Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome)

    *This list was taken from Christ Hospital's Draft-Confidential Termination of Pregnancy Guidelines dated April 1, 1998.

  3. What percentage of babies survive the induced labor abortion procedure?

    According to the Chicago Sun-Times, March 31, 2001: "A spokesman for Christ Hospital's parent, Advocate Health Care… estimated that between 10 percent and 20 percent of fetuses with genetic defects that are aborted survive for short periods outside the womb."

  4. What is the common cause of death for babies who survive induced labor abortion?

    Many are not viable because they are sick or too premature. The ones who could live most often die of asphyxiation, a deficient supply of oxygen.

  5. Of the babies who survive an induced birth abortion, could some continue living with appropriate medical care?

    Yes, a baby's ability to survive is dependent on two factors:

      1. What point in gestation (how many weeks gestation, how many weeks pregnant, what the gestational age is) he or she was delivered. Babies have been known to survive as early as 23 weeks gestation, which is a little over 5 months of pregnancy,

      2. What resuscitation was available and administered to the baby immediately upon delivery. We know that severely premature babies born in a hospital with neonatal intensive care services survive at a much higher rate than babies born at a hospital without such services then transferred to a hospital with such neonatal intensive care services. The only difference is in the timing of resuscitation.


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