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As the debate escalates in the U.S. over late-term abortion, the world’s “tiniest baby” boy ever recorded to have survived, who was born at just 24 weeks and weighing under 10 ounces, has just gone home healthy.
The boy, whose name has not been released, was born by Caesarean-section weighing just 9.45 ounces, which is lighter than the previous all-time recorded low for a baby boy set a decade ago.
The child spent several months at the Keio University Hospital in Tokyo after being born three months early in August. While his mother said she at times doubted that he would survive, the boy was finally released to go home on Feb. 20 — and made history in the process.
Doctors decided to perform the C-section in August after the little boy stopped gaining weight in the womb. He then spent five months in the neonatal ICU.
The baby’s doctor, Dr. Takeshi Arimitsu, told CNN that when he was born, he needed both “a ventilator for respiratory support and an umbilical catheter for infusion therapy,” the network reported Thursday.
Though he came into the world at under 10 ounces, he went home weighing 7.1 pounds — just slightly under the average birth weight for a child (7.28 pounds).
World Health News tweeted out a photo of the tiny baby in celebration of his full release from the hospital. “A baby boy weighing just 268 grams (9.45 oz) at birth was sent home after months in a Tokyo hospital, the smallest surviving male baby in the world, Keio University hospital said,” World Health News tweeted.
A baby boy weighing just 268 grams (9.45 oz) at birth was sent home after months in a Tokyo hospital, the smallest surviving male baby in the world, Keio University hospital said. https://t.co/1UZcQswIvs pic.twitter.com/yTTCEEqA8N
— World Health News (@WorldHealthNews) February 28, 2019
The baby’s weight breaks the previous record for a boy: 9.67 ounces, recorded in Germany in 2009.
“Since 1936, there have been 23 babies who survived preterm birth worldwide after weighing under 10.58 ounces,” CNN reports. Nineteen under that weight were girls, the lightest of which was born in Germany in 2015 weighing just 8.89 ounces.
The argument surrounding late-term abortion, including viability of children outside the womb, has again become a part of the national conversation in recent weeks after the Democrat-controlled New York State Senate passed in January the most extreme pro-abortion bill in the nation’s history, which effectively wipes out the ban of abortion after 24 weeks and removes abortion from the definition of homicide. Democrats in other states have begun considering similar bills.
New York’s euphemistically named “Reproductive Health Act” states that “every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion.” A licensed practitioner can now abort a child up to the baby’s due date if the practitioner determines in “good faith” that terminating the child’s life would serve “to protect the patient’s life or health,” which can include mental health.
“A health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized under title eight of the education law, acting within his or her lawful scope of practice, may perform an abortion when, according to the practitioner’s reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case: the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health,” states the legislation.