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Crackdown On Illegal Abortions In Thailand

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Crackdown ordered

By The Nation

Published on November 18, 2010

In the wake of Tuesday’s gruesome discovery of a large number of foetuses at a Bangkok temple, Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit yesterday ordered a crackdown on illegal abortion operations across the country as well as on doctors performing unauthorised abortions.

Acting on a presumption the foetuses were extracted through abortion, Jurin said his order also relied on self-confessed accounts by an undertaker at Wat Phai Ngern in Bang Khor Laem district that five abortion clinics near the temple had paid him to cremate or dispose of the foetuses.

The crackdown would extend to registered clinics that may have provided unauthorised medical services. The penalties against violators of all kinds range from suspension or permanent revocation of licence to disciplinary or criminal action, Jurin said.

He said Suthep Chabangbon, the undertaker, had been cooperative and given useful information, which he declined to detail. Suthep reportedly told police a woman came to him two months ago and “deposited a large bag” at the temple. She did this five times for Bt200 each delivery, before she disappeared. Suthep claimed he never suspected what was in the bags nor asked the woman what the cargo was.

A taxi motorcyclist told reporters he took many women, including young ones, to an abortion clinic in Soi Wutthakas 33 off Charan Sanitwong Road. Most of the women looked “all wasted and messed up when they came down after the abortion was complete” as he picked them up for the return trip, he said.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has inspected nine temples in Bang Kho Laem district suspected of having disposed of foetuses. The results are expected to be announced soon.

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-- The Nation 2010-11-18

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Foetus find revives abortion issue

By The Nation

Published on November 18, 2010

Following the horrific discovery of 348 foetuses dumped at a Bangkok temple compound on Tuesday, the issue of clinics providing illegal abortions once again emerges, with students admitting they had undergone abortion because they didn’t want to destroy their futures.

A second-year student in the Northeast, Ae (not her real name), said she underwent abortion once when she was in Mathayom 6 and became pregnant after she and her boyfriend had unprotected sex. Not wishing to let her parents know about it, she consulted the boyfriend’s parents and they accompanied her to a place known among locals for conducting abortions. She recalled being given two medicine tablets, after which she had to lie down for 3-7 hours until the foetus came out. The charge was Bt5,000 for a 3-4 month pregnancy.

After the abortion she remained with her boyfriend �" but both have learned the effect unsafe sex can have on their lives and future.

A Bangkok fourth-year student Bee (not her real name) had an abortion last year. She said she and her five-year boyfriend never had a problem with unprotected sex until her period was three-months late and test results showed she was pregnant. She cried with shock and decided to undergo the abortion because she didn’t want her parents to know and be disappointed in her. “I was so afraid but I had to do it. I didn’t want to destroy my future. I’m still studying and am not ready to have a family yet.”

After consulting with her friends, many of whom had experienced abortion, she went to a clinic in Wutthakard area where she underwent a procedure similar to Ae. “I lay down for 3-5 hours after the medicine and I had pain in my lower abdomen and a large blood clot came out. After that I underwent curettage. I was four-months pregnant so I paid Bt8,000-9,000.” Bee urged teenagers to use protection when having sex or they could face life-threatening problems. She urged the government to provide legal facilities for abortion because so many youngsters had this problem.

Coordinator of a network for unprepared pregnant women’s alternatives, Kanrawi Daoreung said Thailand annually had some 200,000 women who got pregnant when they weren’t ready �" and most decided to undergo abortion, which is illegal in Thailand. The law only allows a rape victim, a girl under 15 and those with serious illness to undergo abortion. Urging sex education that would help prevent teenagers’ premature pregnancies, she said the government should provide abortion services because there could be many reasons for unwelcome pregnancies�" such as having too many kids already and the birth control sterilisation didn’t work.

Meanwhile, an anti-violence against women and children campaign was launched yesterday at the Royal Thai Police headquarters to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25.

Thanawadi Thachin, director of the Friends of Women Foundation, said the foetuses’ discovery illustrated that society must educate women about how to prevent accidental pregnancy �" and that the society should accept pregnant schoolgirls could continue their study. Thanawadi also vowed she would push for the violence against children and women issue to be on the national agenda so the government would tackle it seriously.

Pol General Watcharapol Prasanratchakit, a deputy national police chief, said the force’s role was to end violence against children and women. It now had female investigators at some of 1,449 precincts nationwide and female officials would soon be dispatched to other regional offices to help with such cases.

While advocates had called for police to set a good example and conduct investigations into sexual offences, he said disciplinary punishment for sexual harassment was strict and serious. Last year 135 officers faced punishment over sexual offences, while there were 30 such cases so far this year. Officials would apply the Office of the Civil Service Commission’s detailed regulations against sexual harassment, he said.

The Social Development and Human Security Ministry reported there were 28,652 admissions to 62 child and women’ shelters nationwide between 2006 to 2007. It cited a report in 2008 that 80,000 female students became pregnant, about 700 infants were abandoned per year, and 46.8 per cent of women undergoing abortion were under 25.

Domestic violence reportedly caused economic damage worth Bt36.7 billion or 0.5 per cent of the country’s GDP last year. Thai police reported 4,570 rape cases, 36,827 prostitutes arrested and 1,208 producers of pornographic material detained.

Meanwhile, Friend of Women Foundation coordinator Suchat Trakulhutip said many female students and teachers were sexually harassed in schools. The Education Ministry should adopt the Office of the Civil Service Commission’s regulations against sexual harassment and develop the gender equity curriculum at all education levels. Education Minister Chinnavorn Boonyakiat said this was already an important issue to cover in the second round of educational reform, to create security for students and teachers from all kinds of harassment.

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-- The Nation 2010-11-18

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I`m not certain that this crackdown is a good thing or not?

Perhaps better for the women to abort than permitting brain dead mothers to struggle trying to bring up unwanted and unloved babies in absolute poverty.

It would probably be more advisable to have these women sterilised. Better for the women, better for the unwanted childen and less burden for the families and all concerned.

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I`m not certain that this crackdown is a good thing or not?

Perhaps better for the women to abort than permitting brain dead mothers to struggle trying to bring up unwanted and unloved babies in absolute poverty.

It would probably be more advisable to have these women sterilised. Better for the women, better for the unwanted childen and less burden for the families and all concerned.

You seem to be under the false impression that only poor mentally ill people get abortions, which is completely untrue. If anything, it's the opposite, well off educated people get them, the poor just keep popping them out.

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One can only assume this "crackdown" will be like all the the useless "crackdowns."

Take someone in, take pictures, make the news, business as usual.

Shame.

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" Last year 135 officers faced punishment over sexual offences " and we all know what it takes before a BiB is actually been punished here, so i am just wondering what the real figure might be, with all those too afraid of ripercussion to speak out, maybe by sterilising the whole force the problem with the abortion will just disappear or become a rarity

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“ report in 2008 that 80,000 female students became pregnant, about 700 infants were abandoned per year, and 46.8 per cent of women undergoing abortion were under 25”

I struggle with all the issues here having paid for time with Bar/Play Girls without any responsibility for the results. I have also paid for a termination which fortunately didn’t happen and produced a wonderful girl. There is no easy answer and the problems are not going away. Making abortion more difficult, more criminal, or more expensive are not solutions. Education and easy access to contraception seem to me to be the best ways forward. We Guys almost always defer to the Gal to fix the problem. It is not right but that is the reality.

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With numbers of abortions so high its time to decriminalize abortion and get serious about sex education in schools.

Where is Dr Mechai Viravaidya when you need him.

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With numbers of abortions so high its time to decriminalize abortion and get serious about sex education in schools.

Where is Dr Mechai Viravaidya when you need him.

The number of abortions isn't that high compared with the US, and the fertility rate is much lower too. Fertility rate is already well below replacement level, population will eventually start shrinking without immigration.

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I'm sure making it so difficult to continue education if you're pregnant (or married?) is a major reason for many young women having abortions.

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This is one of those awful issues with no good solution in any country.

But if women can't get what they want/need from a doctor they will take matters into their own hands.

And being thrown out of school for being pregnant doesn't help matters, does it?

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This is one of those awful issues with no good solution in any country.

But if women can't get what they want/need from a doctor they will take matters into their own hands.

And being thrown out of school for being pregnant doesn't help matters, does it?

You are correct.

The "crackdown" will impact those that cannot afford to pay for a proper procedure in a clinic with sterile equipment. We will see a return to the drain cleaner and coat hangar techniques and will see a new generation of women brutalized, exploited and at risk. If the people pushing this crackdown spent just 1 hour in one of these clinics peaking to the desperate girls and women, they might have a different perspective. No one wants to perform an abortion. If they want to reduce abortions, let the government first provide an alternative method of support for impoverished single women and put some money and resources into a youth care network.

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The "crackdown" will impact those that cannot afford to pay for a proper procedure in a clinic with sterile equipment. We will see a return to the drain cleaner and coat hangar techniques and will see a new generation of women brutalized, exploited and at risk.

The government clinics are clean, safe, and very cheap, that is not what would happen. This would impact illegal private clinics that mainly service wealthier Thais who don't want to use public clinics.

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There is no easy answer. My mother was a devout Catholic. She was not in favor of abortion but refused to do any thing to stop it. She said she would not be willing to take in one of the unwanted babies so she would keep her mouth shut.

I myself fully endorse that policy. Actually as a reborn again Pagan it allows me to agree to all opinions. Perhaps legalizing it in Government sponsored clinics with counseling available to all would be the answer. I mean no waiting because there are not enough clinics.

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This is a many-fangled issue. A gov't minister simply declaring a crackdown on abortionists is scratching the surface of what needs to be done. It's ineffective and only causes abortionists to go further underground. Here's some of what's needed:

>>> sex education in schools, yes

>>> discussions by parents, yes - though rarely done in any meaningful way. Most parents either avoid the subject altogether, or just touch upon it with platitudes.

>>> instilling a sense of responsibility among youth. Always a challenge, but not so much as to give up trying.

>>> Enabling safe abortions, requiring prior counseling by mature non-judgmental adults (a rarity).

>>> condoms as available and as cheap as chewing gum

>>> Enabling adoptions, both by locals and by foreigners (all screened).

With numbers of abortions so high its time to decriminalize abortion and get serious about sex education in schools.

Where is Dr Mechai Viravaidya when you need him.

studies show that the plethora of plastics in our environment is leading to lower sperm counts - via leaching of chemicals in to water, soil, air, and food. Perhaps that's why Thais use prodigious amounts of plastic and burn much of it in trash piles - as a warped sort of way to unwittingly offset the proliferation our overly dominant species.

Edited by brahmburgers

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