[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Foetuses found in Thai temple
Hundreds of remains uncovered in Bangkok, highlighing the problem of illegal abortion in the country.
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2010 15:08 GMT
The bodies were found in the mortuary storage room of a Buddhist temple in Bangkok [AFP]

Thai police have uncovered the remains of hundreds of foetuses wrapped in plastic bags inside a Buddhist temple, suspected of coming from illegal abortions.

"In just one room we have found 950 foetuses and we are now opening the next room," Colonel Sombat Milintajinda, the area commander of Bangkok Metropolitan Police, told the AFP news agency on Friday.

He said some of the bodies had been stored in the mortuary storage room of the temple in the Thai capital for more than a year.

Two temple undertakers have admitted stashing foetuses in three different storage units, leading to the new inspection, police said.

The undertakers told police they were hired separately by a network of abortion clinics.

So far a 33-year-old woman has been arrested and confessed to carrying out illegal abortions, said a chief investigator said.

The discoveries have shocked Thailand and highlighted the scale of illegal abortions in a country where the procedure is illegal except in cases where the pregnancy endangers the mother's health or is the result of rape.

"This reflects a problem in society," Jurin Laksanavisit, the public health minister, said at the scene.

"I think all the relevant sectors have to work together - government, public and private - to find a solution to this problem."

The health ministry estimates that of one million pregnancies in Thailand each year, 80,000 are illegally terminated.

The department has ordered a nationwide crackdown on abortion clinics as a result of the finds.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.