by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
China’s state run media is reporting that the bodies of 21 babies in yellow pastic bags have washed ashore on a riverbank in the eastern city of Jining.
Fox News is reporting that the babies, believed to have been dumped by hospitals, contain the bodies of infants ranging in age from pre-born to several months old. At least one was in a bag marked “medical waste” and others were still wearing identification tags with their mothers’ names, birth dates, measurements and weights.
The remains were discovered by residents under a bridge in the city of Jining, Shandong province, over the weekend. Tags on the feet of eight of the babies traced them back to a hospital in Jining. Three of these children had apparently been admitted to the hospital in critical condition.
Interviews with residents who discovered the bodies were broadcast on the Web site of the Shandong Broadcasting Company, IQILU.com. Footage showed the tiny bodies lying on the riverbank, some uncovered, others still in plastic bags.
“Several of the bodies of babies with (identification) tags were from our hospital, but not all of them,” said an official who would not give his name. “The officials from the health bureau are still in the hospital doing an investigation.”
Some medical staff have already been suspended.
“The hospital medical staff involved have been suspended from their work during the investigation,” Zhong Haitao, a spokesman at the Jining Health Bureau, told the Xinhua news agency.
There was no indication of how many of the babies were girls or boys.
Even though gender-selection abortions are illegal in China, the practice remains widespread and has led to a skewed sex ratio at birth in China with 119 males born for every 100 females, Fox reports. In industrialized countries, the ratio is 107 to 100.
The country also has a one-child-only family policy that is strictly enforced with heavy fines, forced abortions and/or sterilizations imposed upon violators.
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