Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Fates of More "October Babies"

Andrew O'Hare, in his Salon.com review of October Baby, admitted that he was "too amused and distracted ... to bother with much in the way of scientific or medical research." Armed with this lack of research, he opined that "while the bizarre circumstances found in “October Baby” presumably could happen in the real world, the odds are something like being struck by lightning and eaten by a shark at the same time. With a winning lottery ticket tucked in your swimsuit."

Well, actually, O'Hare, keep your day job as a writer and don't try becoming a bookie, because you suck at weighing the odds. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, of the roughly 1.2 million abortions annually in the US, about 1.5%, or 18,000, are done after 20 weeks. Using the lower CDC estimate of 400 survivors a year, this means that if you are in-utero and your mother undergoes a late abortion, you have a 1/45 chance of surviving.

Unfortunately, surviving the abortion doesn't mean you get to live. After all, the abortion facility staff was paid to kill you, not welcome you. Some babies weren't as kindly treated as the fictitious Hannah or the real-life Gianna Jessen (pictured) and Ana Rosa Rodriguez.

With that in mind, let's look at four more real-life "October Babies."

Saline abortion, infant died of neglect: An August 2, 1981 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that in February of 1979, a 1 lb. 11 oz. baby girl was born at Inglewood Hospital following a saline abortion. Staff there supposedly summoned a rescue team from Harbor General Hospital, but the team didn't respond. The baby died.

Unspecified abortion technique, infant left disfigured and disabled: A suit by patient L.H. alleged that she underwent an abortion by Dr. Alan Beer at Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan on July 16, 1985. No ultrasound was performed to determine gestational age. Beer ruptured the amniotic sac, then referred Harat to University of Michigan Medical Center, where five days later she gave birth to a 2 lb. 3 1/2 oz premature infant boy of approximately 25-29 weeks gestation. The infant, named Bryan, suffered developmental delay, intracranial bleeding, hydrocephalus, and disfigurement.. (Washtenaw County Circuit Court Case No. 85-30344 NM)

Saline abortions, two infants, one rescued from a specimen jar, one taken immediately to NICU, both survived: The August 2, 1981 Philadelphia Inquirer said that in the spring of 1979, two infants were born live at Wilmington Medical Center after saline abortions. Both survived to be adopted. The first infant was placed in a plastic specimen jar and rescued by a nurse who noted that baby was struggling for breath and had a heartbeat. The second infant was immediately determined to be alive and given help.

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