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Thais urge new abortion law after grisly fetus find
By Vorapoj Singha, Bangkok

The discovery of more than 2,000 aborted fetuses at a Bangkok temple last week has shocked Thailand and revived calls to legalise abortion.

Some Catholics, however, say such a move runs against societal moral values and stress counseling.

“Abortion should not be legalized because it is criminal,” said Father Phairat Sriprasert, director of Catholic Commission for Pastoral Health Care.

“Those who call for abortion to be legalized should ask themselves, what if they were aborted for whatever reasons, would they be around today calling for abortion to be legalized?” the priest added.

He was speaking in response to media reports on Nov. 22 that a parliament member is calling for a bill to give women more options when dealing with unwanted pregnancies.

The report also added that organizations working on women’s issues are urging the government to provide safe abortions for women to prevent them from using unsafe services in unhygienic and illegal premises.

Doctor Varunee Jinarat, the Catholic director of Bangkok’s Rajavithi Hospital, agrees with the priest. “Abortion is a great crime because it is contrary to the moral values of this society,” she said, adding that “legalising abortion would mean people can terminate life for the wrong reasons.”

The doctor urged preventive measures, including sex education and counselling service.

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security states that in 2008, 80,000 female students became pregnant, about 700 infants were abandoned, and 46.8 percent of women who underwent abortion were under 25.

Abortions are now illegal in Thailand, except in the case of rape or incest, or if it endangers the mother’s life.
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