Surgeons have operated on pre-born babies in the UK for the first time ever

By Jonathon Van Maren

This, from the Telegraph, is just incredible:

Surgeons have operated on unborn babies for the first time ever in Britain.

Weeks before they even took their first breaths, two babies had their spinal cords delicately repaired while still in the womb. The spina bifida surgeries were successfully performed by a team at London’s University College Hospital this summer, it emerged yesterday.

Spina bifida is usually treated after birth but research shows repairing the baby’s spine earlier can stop the loss of spinal fluid and lead to better long-term health and mobility outcomes.

A 30-strong team carried out the two operations, co-ordinated by UCL’s Professor Anne David, who has been working for three years to bring the procedure to patients in the UK.

Until now, mothers in Britain have had to travel to the US, Belgium or Switzerland for the procedure.

“It’s fantastic. Women now don’t have to travel out of the UK,” Prof David said. “They can have their family with them. There are less expenses. So all good things.”

The surgery team from UCLH and the Great Ormond Street Hospital previously travelled to Belgium to train at a facility in Leuven, where more than 40 such operations have been carried out.

Spina bifida is a condition that develops during pregnancy when the bones of the spine do not form properly, creating a gap that leaves the spinal cord unprotected. It can cause a baby’s spinal fluid to leak and put brain development at risk, potentially leading to long-term health and mobility problems.

More than 200 children are born with spina bifida every year in the UK, according to charity Shine.

The roll-out of the pre-birth surgery in the UK comes after a major US trial confirmed the health and mobility benefits of the procedure.

That trial showed a 50 per cent reduction in the need to have shunts inserted in the brain to drain fluid, a procedure that carries long-term complications. Brain and motor functioning are improved for non-shunted children, researchers said.

Children in the US study were also more independent after the surgery, Prof David said.

“There were some children who had grown up following foetal surgery who were walking and you wouldn’t expect them to be walking if they hadn’t had it,” she said. “So it’s important to be able to offer the surgery to patients here in the UK.”

During the procedure, an incision is made in the womb in a precise location to access the baby’s spine and stitch closed the gap caused by spina bifida.

The surgery, which takes some 90 minutes, carries a risk of premature labour but less invasive keyhole methods are being explored.

Interestingly, this follows on the heels of a story in the Daily Mail on October 15, where the miraculous survival of a baby boy born prematurely has resulted in the parents calling for the abortion limit to be lowered:

A ‘miracle’ baby survived being born two days before the abortion limit – despite weighing only 1lb 4oz.

Anita Hyams, from Southend, Essex, gave birth to her third child, William, after just 23 weeks and five days. Doctors devastatingly told her that he would not be resuscitated unless he had a heartbeat because he was born so prematurely.  

But William defied all of the odds. Now 16 months, he is healthy and thriving, after spending four months in hospital. Mrs Hyams, 38, and her police detention officer husband Dan, 36, are now calling for the 24 week abortion limit to be lowered. 

Progressives like to condemn conservatives as being on “the wrong side of history,” but one thing has become increasingly evident during the decades between the legalization of abortion and now: Abortion is a horrifying act of violence that ends the lives of pre-born children—the same children that we can now perform surgeries on in the womb and can at times survive outside the womb at a time where it would be legal to dismember them inside the womb.

Abortion activists resolutely refuse to address these facts. Science, technology, and advancements in healthcare have left their bloody ideology behind. It is long past time that our societies do so, as well.


For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

One thought on “Surgeons have operated on pre-born babies in the UK for the first time ever

  1. Debbie R oss says:

    Could you send me a freee paper back book of your ‘Culture War’ so I can teach it to my home school kids and share it with my other neighborhood mothers who also homeschool? If so, we would be very grafteful. My address is:

    Debbie Ross
    6825 W. 3rd Ave.
    Kennewick, Wa. 99336

    I monetarily support many pro-life organizatins and I’m just tapped out right now, but want to teach our children this. Thank you if you can.

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