Aborted foetuses given secret memorials

For several years, aborted foetuses at Swedish hospitals have routinely been cremated and buried at a memorial grave without the knowledge of the mothers, according to The National Board of Health and Welfare, reported Swedish broadcaster SVT on Monday.

In the past, healthcare workers have decided whether a pregnant woman should be told what happens to a foetus taken from the mother’s womb after the first 12 weeks.

Bo Lindblom, an advisor at the Board, said information on the disposal or burial should be included when a woman is apprised of the procedure, if she chooses.

“There must be cause to come up with some type of uniform information that you could give to women around the country,” Lindblom said, according to SVT.

Last year some 35,000 abortions took place in Sweden. Of this amount, some 1,500 abortions were done after the first trimester.

With abortions during the first 12 weeks, the foetus is incinerated as a health risk, in the same way as amputated arms or legs.

Foetuses aborted after week 12 are numbered and put into child-size coffins – often with other foetuses – and sent to a crematorium and later to the memorial spot.

Few women who have abortions after the first trimester know about the body’s disposal.

“When you inform about how the abortion happens, I don’t think it is obvious that you ask women if they want to know, or if they have any particular views on how you should handle the foetuses. I think it is skipped over in many cases,” said Christina Rogala, a midwife at the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, according to SVT.