An investigation has been launched after a baby boy was found alive nearly a day after a failed abortion in Southern Italy, the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reported.
The infant, who was left to die by doctors following the procedure, was discovered by a priest who had gone to pray beside the body nearly 20 hours after the operation was performed, according to the report.
Father Antonio Martello said he found the 22-week-old wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached. Martello immediately alerted doctors, who then transported the infant to a neo-natal unit, but it was too late. The baby boy died the next day.
Italian police are now investigating the case as a homicide because infanticide is illegal in Italy.
According to the report, the law states that doctors had an obligation to try to preserve the life of the child once he had survived the abortion.
An inquiry into the conduct of the hospital staff is also being considered by the Italian government.