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Hundreds of fetuses found at Thai Buddhist temple

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November 16, 2010 11:12 AM EST | AP


BANGKOK — Thai police have discovered hundreds of human fetuses dumped at a Buddhist temple's morgue in Bangkok, and suspect they came from illegal abortion clinics.

Police Maj. Gen. Sumeth Ruangswasdi said Tuesday they were called to investigate a strong smell, and discovered the fetuses in plastic bags. They counted a total of 348.

He said the fetuses must have been collected from abortion clinics and disposed of at different times, as their color and condition varied. The Nation newspaper reported that the temple's undertaker confessed to having been hired by several clinics to dispose of the fetuses.

Abortion is illegal in Thailand except under three conditions -- if a woman is raped, if the pregnancy affects her health or if the fetus is abnormal.