Baby girl who had pioneering surgery in the womb celebrates turning one
A baby girl who underwent "pioneering" spinal surgery in the womb has celebrated her first birthday during lockdown. Her mum, Bethan Simpson, 27, from Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, was told Elouise had spina bifida at her 20-week scan.
She says her "happy and smiley" little girl has already reached many of her developmental milestones early, and that her daughter's furute is as "bright as any baby's."
Spina Bifida is a condition which occurs when the spinal column and cord are not properly formed, causing a gap in the spine. The condition can cause paralysis and learning difficulties. Abortion up to the point of birth is currently available for the condition in Britain, and has recently been introduced in Northern Ireland.
Mrs Simpson became one of the first mothers in the UK to undergo the delicate procedure in January 2019.
During a four-hour operation her womb was opened and her unborn baby's bottom exposed, allowing surgeons to "sew up" a tiny gap in her lower spine.
Mrs Simpson said she and husband Kieron were advised to abort their baby girl, but the decision to opt instead for fetal repair was a "no-brainer."
A year on from her birth, Mrs Simpson said Elouise is "full of joy and love" and "babbling little sentences" all the time.
"As a mother your instinct overrides everything," she said.
"Since becoming a mum I've had the chance to reflect on that traumatic time. My only option was to fight. But most importantly, it was about being informed.
"There is a lot of negative information around spina bifida. Without being fully informed as parents, Elouise would not be where she is now."
Saving Babies Through In Utero Surgery
Currently, in utero surgery can treat a number of foetal health conditions including Spina Bifida and Cerebral Palsy, which are also tragically grounds for abortion.
Bernadette Smyth, Head of Precious Life, said: "Stories like Eloise's offer great hope for the pro-life movement, and are proof that we are on the right side of science. In utero surgery is proving to people that these developing children in the womb are living, breathing human beings who deserve the best care, not abortion.
Positive, practical and life-saving treatments like in utero surgery should be prioritised and promoted, rather than the barbaric 'answer' of killing a baby in the womb. Thanks to developments in science and advances in technology, society is learning more about the incredible and beautiful humanity of every unborn child in the womb, and this should compel us to protect these babies, not to destroy them."
"In utero surgery destroys the empty and cruel pro-abortion rhetoric, and teaches us that every unborn child has incredible dignity and worth, and is worthy of our protection in law, policy and practise."