According to research on "extremely preterm infants" in the U.S., the survival rate for premature babies has improved dramatically with appropriate care at birth. Dr. Jeff Barrows of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations says that is quite an improvement from when he started practicing medicine in the 1980s.
"At that time, 22 weeks was thought to be too early to really have a chance for survival," he details. "But this study shows that especially if active resuscitation and treatments were started at birth, 30% -- one out of three babies born at 22 weeks -- would survive and be discharged, and over 50% born at 23 weeks go on to survive."
That demonstrates the degree of improvement that has taken place in medical knowledge and life-saving care. However, as Dr. Barrows points out, the figures also relate to arguments for abortion.
"We know that abortions after 21 weeks now -- 22 weeks up to 28 weeks -- is really essentially killing a baby that has at a minimum one out of three chance of survival if it happened to be born," he says.
Most nations in the world have serious restrictions against aborting late-term babies, but the United States remains one of a handful of countries that still allows abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.