Thailand: Two Thousand Dead Fetuses in Buddhist Temple

If a dead fetus is discovered, it usually generates a strong condemnation especially from the conservative circles. But what should be the proper reaction if 2,000 dead fetuses are found in a Buddhist Temple?

Everybody in Thailand is still recovering from the emotional effect produced by a shocking report about the discovery of 2,000 illegally aborted fetuses in the temple of Wat Phai Ngern. This has reinvigorated the debate on whether it is already time to update the country’s abortion laws.

Abortion is illegal in Thailand except under certain conditions. Abortion is permitted if a woman is raped, if the pregnancy affects her health or if the fetus is abnormal. It is estimated that around 150,000-200,000 women per year are going to private clinics for illegal abortion.

The country’s Prime Minister believes abortion laws are already adequate. What he suggests is further re-education of the youth. Twitter user tulsathit reacts to this statement

togiab: RT @tulsathit: Honestly, PM's response to illegal abortion confuses me: Law's ok, social values not ok, and illegal clinics must b busted.

The dead fetus horror has prompted a lawmaker to propose the legalization of abortion. But his aim, which is to reduce the country’s “low quality” population, surprised Bangkok Pundit

Although Thailand is home to a huge and active sex industry, many Thais are conservative on sexual matters, and Buddhist activists especially oppose liberalizing abortion laws.

Now, the end result of the policy maybe a reduction in the crime rate, but selling the idea of legalized abortion to reduce undesireable members of society? BP's first thought was, what was he thinking? Why on earth would someone publicly state that one of the benefits of abortion is a reduction in the “low quality” population?

Thai Film Journal suspects dead fetuses were stored in the temple for another reason

But I have wondered if there is another reason the fetuses were being stored. Thai movies have depicted supernatural beliefs that fetuses have black-magic powers.

Here are sample twitter reactions from Bangkok about the renewed debate on abortion

WomenLearnThai: @Thai_Talk Another 1,500 foetuses at Wat Phai Ngern Chotanaram… I really do feel sick.
thegreglowe: The grisly find at Wat Phai Ngern demonstrate clearly that Thailand must reform its abortion laws and give women access to proper service
Citybiitch: Pls stop broadcastin the news abt abortion already!! No matter how much u change the law, its still here, u idiots!!
ResponseAP: RT @juarawee: RT @tulsathit: Dusit Poll — 65.6 % of ppl surveyed agree w/ legalized abortion. 12.6% disagree. 47% believe abortion is individual rights.
isamare: @bangkokpundit @tri26 but that claim should not be used as the reason to legalized abortion
moui: @kafeeme Just want to comment that if any monk supports doing abortion, he should be a common man instead.
pracob: Condoms for boys and pills for girls are better choices than abortion. However sex education should be promoted
sinneyxx: OMG!! What happened with Thailand? Abortion in one month is about 1,000? RIP to those babies ☹
NCMissionsMom: RT @tulsathit: Number of dead fetuses found at Pai Ngern Temple is over 2,000 now. Tip of Thailand's illegal abortion iceberg.
KhlongBangSue: @forestmat deeply tragic and worrying. That image should provoke public outcry over current abortion policy

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