Illegally aborted foetuses stored for years
By Gabe Gilker
Last Friday, 2,002 foetus corpses were found in the Phai-nguern Chotinaram temple, awaiting cremation in Bangkok.
The two undertakers of the temple and a 33 year-old woman were arrested for smuggling the foetuses and performing illegal abortions.
Police were drawn to the temple on Tuesday after an awful stench of decay was reported coming from it after the temple’s furnace broke down. The police then uncovered 348 foetuses in cremation containers. They returned Friday to remove the foetuses and discovered another vault where another 1,654 foetuses were stored, waiting to be burnt.
“From the confession of one of the morticians of the temple that we interrogated last night, he told us that they received these foetuses from the same places as the first lot of 348 foetus remains, and they became dry,” Col. Sombat Milintachinda said, chief of the investigation team to CNN News, “We think that they might have arrived here about a year ago.”
The 33-year-old woman confessed to accepting a bounty to collect the foetuses from several illegal clinics. She was paid $16.00 per foetus removed. She is being sentenced to five years in jail and a fine of 10,000 Baht ($341.22 CAD).
The two undertakers will be sent to jail for one year and will also receive fines of 2,000 Baht ($68.24 CAD.)
“From our interrogation of the morticians, they admitted that they have been receiving foetuses for about four years, and they told us that they kept the foetuses until they dried up, so it is easy to burn them,” Col. Sombat Milintachinda, chief of the investigation team said to CNN News.
Even though Thailand has a massive and lucrative sex industry, they have very rigid abortion laws. An abortion can only be preformed if the pregnancy is caused by incest or rape; it puts the mother’s health at risk or the baby has an abnormality.
Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva, claimed that the current laws on abortion are “appropriate and flexible enough,” to the Associated Press on Saturday.
Women who can afford to get an abortion can have it done in a safe, clean clinic, but this can be extremely expensive. This leaves the rest of the women, usually from lower classes, to seek help in other, seedier, clinics which could potentially put their own health at risk.
“Around one million Thai women get pregnant each year, with 60,000 suffering miscarriages and another 80,000 getting legal abortions.” Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanavisith explained to the Associated Press, leaving out the amount of women who get illegal abortions.