Italian boy found alive after abortion

April 29, 2010 at 3:22 PM

ROSSANO, Italy, April 29 (UPI) -- The discovery of an Italian baby found alive after an abortion has triggered an investigation and possible charges of homicide, authorities said.

The 22-week-old fetus allegedly was left to die after the abortion was performed Saturday in Calabria, the Telegraph, a British newspaper, reported. The baby died Monday.

The Rev. Antonio Martello, the chaplain at Rossano Calabro Hospital, found the child was alive on Sunday, approximately 20 hours after the operation, when he went to pray beside the body, the Telegraph reported.

The baby was taken to a neonatal unit at another hospital, where he died, the newspaper said.

Police are investigating the case as a homicide because Italian law requires that doctors must try to preserve life once a fetus has survived an abortion, the Telegraph said.

If early information is correct, "this would be a case of deliberate abandonment of a seriously premature neonate, possibly also with some form of disability, an act contrary to any sense of human compassion but also of any accepted professional medical practice," said Eugenia Roccella, the undersecretary of state in the health department, who said there would be a government inquiry into the incident.

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