Pattaya Daily News

20 November 2010 :: 19:11:25 pm 46363

2002 Aborted Foetus Highlight Inadequacies Of Thailand’s Birth Control Policies

The aborted foetus scandal is extending its tendrils throughput Bangkok society affecting students, doctors, nurses and wat officials as the foetus count reaches 2002.
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November 20,2010: With the discovery of a further 1,654 illegally aborted foetuses at the morgues of two Bangkok wats bringing the total number found so far to 2002, the full extent of the banned abortion business in the country is beginning to come to light. Currently, legal abortions amount to some 11,000 annually, while it is estimated that between 150,000 to 200,000 women resort to illegal abortions, mostly concerned to hide their pregnancies from their families.

Dr Kittipong Saejeng, Director of the Health Productive Division, maintains that approximately 60% of abortions were from women aged under 25-years-old. So far the Department of Health Services Support has evidence of four clinics performing illegal abortions and intends to investigate over 4,000 private clinics that provide family planning schemes and are situated close to student dormitories and universities across Bangkok.

In Thailand, abortion is illegal, except where the mother’s health is in danger, if she is a rape victim, or, in certain cases, a teenager. Many Buddhists apparently consider abortions can incur bad karma, but that this penalty has proven so woefully inadequate says much for the modern Thai’s credence for religious beliefs. Nattaya Boonpakdee, co-ordinator of the Women’s Health Advocacy Foundation stated that unwanted pregnancies were truly a problem in society, according to the Bangkok Post. There is also evidence that the mores of the young in particular are changing radically and are no longer beholden to traditional familial prohibitions.

Ms Nattaya is advocating an expansion of preventative measures, including sex education and a birth-control counselling service, citing as evidence the prevalent mistaken belief that the birth control pill is almost equivalent to the morning-after pill, in that it is only necessary to take the birth control pill one day before having sex, whereas in reality protection needs to be established by taking it regularly for one month before to be effective. Furthermore, she said, women with unwanted pregnancies require friendly counselling, temporary housing and a legal and safe abortion provided by state hospitals.

Regarding the foetus scandal, temple morticians claim they have been receiving aborted foetuses from a handful of private clinics for over four years. The practice is to store foetuses until such time as they dry out, at which point they are burnt. Several morticians are likely to be granted immunity from prosecution if they indicate where the aborted foetuses came from and disclose information on the donors. In one instance, a former Bangkok hospital nurse, Lanchakorn Janthamanas, was arrested for arranging illegal abortions on the evidence of one such mortician. Ms Lanchakorn has in turn revealed the identities of several celebrities who had abortions that the police are eager to interview.

Penalties for abortionists start at five-years imprisonment and Bt10,000 fines and extend to fines of Bt14,000 and seven years in jail, if doctor has caused a single death, presumably of the mother.

A religious ceremony is to be held at Wat Sriboonruang, Bang Kapi next Saturday to pray for the souls of the aborted foetuses.

Reporter : PDN staff   Category : Community News

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