HC Deb 15 November 1989 vol 160 cc339-40W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has about the minimal gestation age at which an aborted baby can show one or more of the following signs of life(a) brain activity, (b) pulse rate, (c) heart beat, (d) breathing and (e) movement.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

Breathing and brain activity are functions associated with viability. Although we know of no formal research on these points some doctors have noted transient heartbeat and movement from about 12 weeks' gestation.

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