General Article The abortion time limit and why it should remain at 24 weeks

Topic Selected: Abortion
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What is the current abortion time limit?

At the moment, it is legal to have an abortion in Great Britain up to the 24th week of gestation.
Why are there calls for the abortion time to be lowered?
Those that want the abortion time limit to be lowered argue that the survival rate of premature babies has improved since 1990, the last time when the law was changed. According to them, medical science and technology have made it easier for premature babies born at 22–24 weeks to survive.

Do premature babies survive earlier now?

No, a large scale study, EPICure, was undertaken in 1951 to examine the survival rates of premature babies born in the UK and Ireland at 26 weeks gestation and below. It tracked the progress and health of babies who survived into their tenth month.
The results were published in 2000 and showed that the survival rates of babies were better if they are born above 25 weeks. At 24 weeks, the hospital discharge rate was 33.6%.

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