12 Dec 2010

Cleansing ceremony held in Bangkok

8:02 am on 12 December 2010

A special cleansing ceremony has taken place in the Thai capital, Bangkok, to appease the souls of the dead.

The ceremony was been given particular poignancy after the recent discovery of more than 2000 foetuses in the mortuary of a Buddhist temple.

The remains are widely believed to have come from illegal abortion clinics.

The BBC reports the gruesome discovery has prompted debate about the issue.

Terminations are permitted in Thailand only in cases of rape, incest or where the mother's life is in danger.

But official statistics suggest around 300,000 abortions are carried out each year, the vast majority in back street clinics.