Vietnam baby survives abortion, but dies soon after

TN News

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A baby that was aborted in a central Vietnam clinic Sunday after her parents were convinced by erroneous scans that she had congenital abnormalities survived the abortion but died later because she was too weak.

Pediatricians at the Gia Lai Province General Hospital said the baby was alive and had no congenital disorders when she was admitted Sunday morning.

But without adequate neonatal intensive care facilities, the seven-month-old embryo was put on a bed and covered with blankets instead of in an incubator.

She died that afternoon with umbilical bleeding.

Nguyen Thi Thu T., the child's mother, said she had done scans at a clinic in Chu Se District and another in Ho Chi Minh City, and was told both times the baby had facial abnormalities and to abort her.

She had the abortion done at 4 a.m. Sunday at a private clinic in Chu Se, and at 6 a.m, when they were about to bury the baby, they discovered she was alive and seemingly normal.

Phan Vuong Quan, a pediatric emergency doctor at the Gia Lai hospital, said the baby had no abnormalities, her heart had been working well, and she had weighed 2.2 kilograms.

But she had been cold and had difficulties breathing, he added.

It was T.'s third conception, but she reportedly lost her first child a couple years ago.

Vietnam does not have specific laws on abortion, but its incidence has been rising and is already among the highest in the world, especially among teenagers who still have little knowledge of contraception and pregnancy.

A report last November said that for every five babies born in HCMC, four others were aborted, which is three times the average national rate.

The Ministry of Health has drafted a bill seeking to ban abortions of fetuses older than seven weeks.

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