The baby boy, born at 21 weeks, is now thriving and happy, and has inspired his parents to begin a nonprofit to support premature babies. A baby boy who was said to have 0 percent odds of surviving after being born four months prematurely just celebrated his first birthday this month. Richard Scott William Hutchinson is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most premature baby to survive to date. He was born weighing only 11.9 ounces, so tiny that he fit in the palm of a hand. He was born on June 5, 2020, after just 21 weeks and two days in his mother’s womb. Rick and Beth plan to start a nonprofit “to support other premature babies.” The survival of Richard, while exceptional, brings to the forefront of the abortion discussion questions about the point of fetal viability, and even about whether viability should be used as a determinant of abortion law. The question carries added weight in the United States, since Roe v. Wade held that states cannot ban abortion before fetal viability. Nineteen states, including Minnesota, consider fetal viability to be the point at which abortion is banned, although they legally mark viability at different points during gestation. While Casey v. Planned Parenthood, in 1992, determined that 24 weeks was the age of viability – set back from 28 weeks during the less technologically advanced time of Roe v. Wade – University of Iowa pediatrics professor Dr. Edward Bell told The New York Times in 2015 that he considers 22 weeks to be the new age of viability.
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