Alabama Preemie Enters Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Most Premature Baby to Survive

Manuel Balce Ceneta

Had Michelle Butler been in another state other than Alabama, her child’s entry into the Guinness Book of World Records might not have been possible.

From ABC7:

An Alabama boy who weighed less than a pound at birth after his mother went into labor at only 21 weeks and one day of gestation has been certified as the world’s most premature baby to survive.

Guinness World Records and UAB Hospital announced Wednesday that Curtis Means, who weighed only 14.8 ounces (420 grams) at birth, set the new record. Born 132 days premature on July 5, 2020 with a twin who didn’t survive, Curtis is now healthy and 16 months old.

 

Dr. Brian Sims, who was the attending physician, said statistics show that children born so young have virtually no chance of survival, but Curtis beat the odds.

“We typically advise for compassionate care in situations of such extremely preterm births,” Sims said in a statement from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which operates the hospital. “This allows the parents to hold their babies and cherish what little time they may have together.”

We can never know or understand the untapped power of life until that life is allowed to thrive. Young Curtis had the will to live, and through medical care, and the love and nurture of his mother, he maintained life, and continued to survive.

Instead, Curtis grew stronger and stronger and was discharged after 275 days in the hospital. He needed help from therapists to begin using his mouth and eating.

“Being able to finally take Curtis home and surprise my older children with their younger brother is a moment I will always remember,” mother Michelle Butler of rural Eutaw, Alabama, said in a statement.

Unlike state’s like California and New York, who are rushing to kill children up to the moment of birth (and even after birth), and condemning the Texas Heartbeat Law as being anti-woman and an attack on reproductive health, Alabama is doing all it can to protect life in the womb and to give women seeking abortions alternatives to destroying life.

The Guttmacher Institute is a left-leaning organization that collects data on abortions in America, and which states are most, and least restrictive. According to their data, the State of Alabama has had the following restrictions on abortion as of January 1, 2021:

  • A patient must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage the patient from having an abortion, and then wait 48 hours before the procedure is provided.

  • Health plans offered in the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act can only cover abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.

  • The use of telemedicine to administer medication abortion is prohibited.

  • The parent of a minor must consent before an abortion is provided.

  • Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.

  • A patient must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must offer the patient the option to view the image.

  • An abortion may be performed at 20 or more weeks postfertilization (22 weeks after the last menstrual period) only in cases of life endangerment or severely compromised physical health. This law is based on the assertion, which is inconsistent with scientific evidence and has been rejected by the medical community, that a fetus can feel pain at that point in pregnancy.

  • The state requires abortion clinics to meet unnecessary and burdensome standards related to their physical plant, equipment and staffing.

In essence, Alabama has created a culture and atmosphere for a premature baby like Curtis Means to survive and thrive.

Of course, you have the anti-life advocates who might say that Curtis Means is not thriving, and that he is a drain on resources that could be given to a child who has a greater chance of contributing to society.

While Curtis still needs a feeding tube and supplemental oxygen because he was so premature, Sims said he’s in good health considering how early he was born.

“We do not know what all the future will hold for Curtis since there is no one else like him,” Sims said. “He started writing his own story the day he was born. That story will be read and studied by many and, hopefully, will help improve care of premature infants around the world.”

The pictures and video of Curtis with his mother Michelle Butler reflect a happy, thriving baby who is loved and care for. As Dr. Sims said, we have no idea what the future holds for Curtis Means or what he may achieve. We do know that his powerful will to live has inspired not only mothers with premature babies, but the medical staff who care for them.

What stories would be written and studies rendered if children with Down’s Syndrome were not cavalierly aborted?

Really, if medical technology is at the place where a 21-week premature baby can have a chance of survival, then the argument for unrestricted abortion gets weaker and will soon become nonexistent. Medical advances like the artificial womb and in-utero surgery reinforce the support and care of preborn life. Ultimately, you cannot fight to nurture life on one end, while seeking to destroy it on the other.