When Lexie Slater-Folksman was born at 23 weeks – an age at which babies can still be aborted – she weighed just 1lb 8oz.
She was put on a life support machine and her parents were warned their daughter might not pull through.
She was so premature her eyes hadn’t even developed properly. At a month old she underwent laser surgery on her eyes and then spent week after week on ventilator machines after she suffered collapsed lungs.
But Lexie defied the odds and gradually gained strength.
Now, six months after her birth, she weighs a healthy 8lb and has finally been allowed home, to the joy and relief of her parents, 20-year-old Sarah Slater and her fiance Richard Folksman, 25.
They say Lexie’s case proves that the abortion laws are outdated and should be changed. At 23 weeks, Lexie was born a week before the time limit for termination.
In May MPs voted for the upper time limit for abortions to remain at 24 weeks after rejecting proposals to reduce the limit to as little as 12 weeks.
Anti-abortion campaigners had argued the time limit for termination was too long, saying a baby’s rights should be considered at the point it had the ‘chance of life’.
It is a stance Miss Slater shares. Speaking at the family home in Wigan, she said: ‘We’re so glad to have Lexie home with us at last and it just shows how outmoded our laws on abortion are.
‘Some mothers-to-be would be able to legally terminate their pregnancy at 23 weeks – yet my Lexie is living proof babies can survive being born so prematurely.
‘I never realised a baby would be so well developed at 23 weeks and they do have a chance of life.’
So, do people still think aborting at 24 weeks isn’t killing a child then? At what point does the Right to Choose become the Right to Kill?