March 12, 2018

Nurse stunned as baby survived abortion: His ‘heart was beating strongly’

The size of the palm of my hand
Rita was a young, student nurse working in a London hospital in the 1970s. She describes herself as an “Irish country girl” who did not know what she would be expected to do in her training. When she was required to care for a woman undergoing an abortion, she was confused and unprepared. Rita describes vividly the first time she witnessed an abortion:

One case which is indelible in my mind was that of a married woman, who was admitted for a termination of pregnancy. She had two healthy children and was now pregnant with baby number three. She did not want any more children. I was asked to do the medicine round that morning and I gave her the prostaglandin tabs prescribed.

Hours later she requested a bed pan and then passed a live fetus approximately the size of the palm of my hand. It certainly was a human being. It had limbs, a head, eyes and a heart that was beating strongly and visibly. The mother saw the contents of the bed pan as did I. The image of that little baby has never left my mind.

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