Born at only 23 weeks … adorable twins

Inghilterra_aborto_miracolo-615x380When twins Mackenzie and Cameron Glover were born 17 weeks prematurely, they were so tiny that their mother said they could ‘fit inside a pint glass’.

Now, after a lengthy battle for life against the most astonishing odds, the boys have become one of the most premature sets of twins ever to survive in the UK.

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They gurgle happily and wriggle around like any other new-borns, reacting to their parents Pam and Lee with smiles and laughter. But the couple could hardly have dared imagine such a scene on the day they were born in June last year – when doctors did not expect them to live for more than a few hours. Pam, 39, went into labour at just 23 weeks – earlier than the legal abortion limit of 24 weeks – when she was on holiday in Morocco.

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The doctors there told the couple their babies would almost certainly die and that Pam’s life was also  at risk without specialist care. The family faced a desperate fight to get back to the UK and the expertise of the NHS.

The odds were stacked against them from the start. Just one in ten babies born at this stage survives, and the chances are even lower for twins, who are considerably smaller.

Now Pam says her miraculous boys fill her with wonder – but she is left angry and mystified that the law continues to permit the abortion of babies older than her sons were at birth.

Pam said: ‘For us now, the idea that it’s possible to abort a child up to  24 weeks – older than Cameron and Mackenzie were – just doesn’t bear thinking about.

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‘It’s a message we’d like to get across, that the abortion limit should be lower.

‘Our boys’ eyes were fused shut, their wee hands were fused. But they were proper little babies.’

The issue is mired in controversy.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently expressed his own view that the legal abortion limit should be cut to just 12 weeks, and several Cabinet Ministers have supported a reduction to 20 weeks. David Cameron has so far ruled out a parliamentary debate on the issue.

Mackenzie pictured at just 37 days old was a fighter right from the start

Crucially, doctors are not legally obliged to resuscitate any baby born before 24 weeks.

But the twins’ case proves that even tiny babies have a chance of survival because of developments in neonatal medicine. Mark Bhagwandin, from the pro-life charity Life, said one study had shown up to 19 per cent of babies born at 23 weeks could survive, and added it was ‘essential that current laws on abortion are reviewed to reflect this reality’.