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Study finds unique 'anonymous delivery' law effective in decreasing rates of neonaticide in Austria
Date:12/4/2012

e 2-3 cases of babies being left in baby hatches reported per year, whereas cases of anonymous birth are in the range of 30-40 cases per year.

Claudia Klier, Associate Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Medical University of Vienna and co-author of the study, said:

"Neonaticide is usually the result of an unwanted pregnancy, and a resulting denial of that pregnancy, so it is often hard to gauge as those who commit neonaticide tend to evade the healthcare system.

"The passage of the anonymous delivery law and the subsequently major reduction in reports of neonaticide during this study period indicate that this has been a very effective tool in the prevention of this crime in Austria.

"It is clear that more research into neonaticide and its associated factors is needed to accurately identify and implement long-term solutions. However, we want to raise awareness of this option for women as we know this is a hidden crime and there may be many more cases than previously thought."

John Thorp, BJOG Deputy-Editor-in-Chief added:

"The results of this study are very compelling and highlight the benefits of anonymous birth. While preventative measures like baby hatches are good in theory, they still do not provide adequate support for the woman who is on her own not only during pregnancy but during the potentially dangerous delivery.

"It is therefore important to raise awareness of anonymous delivery as this approach could lead to a reduction in neonaticide rates."


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Contact: Caitlin Walsh
cwalsh@rcog.org.uk
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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