A man who survived a failed late-term abortion in Germany in 1997 has died aged 21 and his story paints a cautionary tale of what could very well happen in Ireland today where much the same regime is now in place.
As a baby, Tim was diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the 20th week of gestation. Germany allowed abortions only for the first 13 weeks, except in cases when the mother feels – for health or psychological reasons – unable to carry the baby to term. As his mother threatened to take her own life, the late-term abortion – legal up to 22 weeks – was scheduled. In Tim’s case, however, the doctor did not use potassium chloride to stop the heart, assuming he would not survive labour. Born weighing just 690g (1½lbs), nurses wrapped him in a towel, where he spent the first nine hours of his life alone. After that, realising he was still alive, doctors and nurses began to provide him with medical care. After surviving his extreme prematurity, doctors still gave him only one or maximum two years to live because of various health difficulties, including underdeveloped lungs, which made him susceptible to infections. However, he was adopted by a couple who loved him and cared for him and he lived up to the age of 21.
He passed away without warning after a “wonderful Christmas” at home with his family, days after contracting a lung infection.
In Germany the routine abortion of children diagnosed with downs syndrome continues with 9 out 10 babies with the diagnosis being aborted.