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Expectant parents can now see their child in the womb in incredible detail thanks to a technological breakthrough.
While ultrasound has been commonplace in maternity clinics since the 1980s, a new MRI scan captures footage of the unborn child in clear, high-quality imaging.
The technique has come to the public’s attention after a 24 second video of a 20 week old unborn baby seen kicking, swallowing and pulling on the umbilical cord, went viral.
Early treatmentAccording to The Telegraph, the new £10 million technique could lead to complications being spotted earlier, and potentially treated before the baby is born.
Previously, if a baby was highly active during a scan, the images would be unusable. The new imaging uses computer algorithms to compensate for small foetal movements.
The team behind the new technology, iFIND, hope that it will soon be rolled out to maternity clinics across the world.
Sanctity of lifeThe video, which shows the fully-formed the baby in such detail, is likely to reignite debate about lowering the current abortion limit of 24 weeks.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously supported cutting the limit to 12 weeks.
In 2012, he said that everyone has their view on when human life begins and that in his own opinion, “12 weeks is the right point for it”.
He added that in 2008 he voted for the abortion limit to be halved from 24 to 12 weeks.