Nearly 1,700 dead fetuses found at Thai temple
BANGKOK Thai police found the remains of most 1,700 illegally aborted fetuses hidden at a Buddhist temple in Bangkok Friday as the full extent of the grisly discovery emerged.
More than 2,000 bodies, wrapped in plastic bags, have now been uncovered in the temple’s three mortuary rooms and police said they have now finished searching the building.
After authorities found 348 fetuses in an initial search earlier in the week, two temple undertakers confessed to stashing them, leading to the new inspection, police said.
“A total of 1,654 fetuses were found today in two rooms,” Col. Sombat Milintajinda, area com- mander of Bangkok Metropolitan Police, told AFP.
He said some had been stored there for more than a year.
The discoveries have shocked Thailand and highlighted the scale of illegal abortions in a country where the procedure is only allowed when delivery would harm the mother or the pregnancy is the result of rape.
“This reflects the severity of the problem,” said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, although he rejected suggestions that the abortion law be amended, say- ing it was “flexible enough.”
The public health ministry, which ordered a nationwide crackdown on abortion clinics as a result of the finds, estimates that of one million pregnancies in Thailand each year, 80,000 are illegally terminated.