The Victorian Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity report with data from 2014/2015 has been released.  Pregnancy outcomes after 20 weeks are all captured within this report included termination data.    A summary of termination data is provided below.

 In 2014 a total of 319 post 20 week terminations were reported;  147 for psychosocial indications and 172 for suspected or confirmed congenital abnormality.  

Of the 147 terminations for psychosocial indicators, 146 were undertaken between 20-27 weeks and 1 between 32 and 36 weeks.  

In 2015 a total of 309 post 20 week terminations were reported: 107 for psychosocial indications and 202 for suspected or confirmed congenital abnormality. 

Of the 107 terminations for psychosocial indications, all were undertaken between 20-27 weeks.

Neonatal deaths

There were 38 neonatal deaths including 1 as a result of a termination for psychosocial indicators in 2014, and 31 neonatal deaths in 2015.

The specific gestational ages of those babies born alive is unknown, however the broad category of congenital abnormalities they were diagnosed with included:



Condition                                                            stillbirth                neonatal death

Central nervous system                                43                           8  

Cardiovascular system                                   11                           13

Urinary tract                                                    8                              3

Gastrointestinal                                               4                             0

Chromosomal                                                  39                           7

Multiple issues                                                18                           2

Musculoskeletal                                              7                              2

Diaphragmatic hernia                                    2                              1



Condition                                                       stillbirth                neonatal death

Central nervous system                                53                           8  

Cardiovascular system                                   29                           4

Urinary tract                                                       9                              3

Gastrointestinal                                                1                              1

Chromosomal                                                    35                           6

Multiple issues                                                  23                           5

Musculoskeletal                                               14                           3

While some of these congenital abnormalities may well have resulted in some serious adverse repercussions for the babies, it is hard to imagine that they were all unable to be addressed either medically or surgically. 

We do not know whether parents were informed that their babies may be born alive and not provided with medical care or whether in fact any of the babies were provided with medical or comfort care.   We also don’t know how long these babies lived.