02/23/2007, 00.00
JAPAN
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Public cradles against abortion

The Japanese Health Minister approved a decision by a hospital of Kumamoto to set up a “baby box” for the public, which will save the lives of unwanted new born babies. Other hospitals wanting to set up similar schemes will be supported.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Japan has also set up “public cradles against abortion”. Following India, which last week launched a “cradles scheme” against abortions and foeticide of girls, the Japanese Health Minister approved a decision taken by a hospital in Kumamoto to have a “baby box” for the public.

Hospital officials said the box was intended to ensure absolute privacy for those parents who wanted to abandon their newly born babies. The “box” is an incubator which is always working and monitored by a nurse of the hospital. Babies can be put there through an opening in the hospital wall.

According to officials of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the proposal “does not violate any law but should be supported because it protects the safety of unwanted babies.”

Clearly, they added, from a legal point of view, the hospital would have to answer for the safety of the children. All the same, “the government will do everything possible to help through adoption and tax reduction campaigns”.

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