NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Incubators For Abandoned Babies

July 23, 1999

Eight hospitals in Hungary have installed incubators in lobby areas to allow mothers to abandon their babies more safely, reports the British Medical Journal. The Schopf-Merei Agost Hospital initiated the incubator program three years ago after a marked increase in the number of mothers killing their newborns or leaving them to die.

  • Babies have been left to die in rubbish bins, behind bushes in isolated areas of public parks, or in abandoned buildings.
  • Police reported that 10 dead newborns were found in Budapest last year, and undoubtedly more abandoned babies died nationwide.
  • So far, 9 babies have been saved at Schopf-Merei Agost Hospital, says an employee.

The program also includes discreet prenatal care and counseling for mothers who do not want to keep their infants -- 500 mothers have participated so far.

Source: Carl Kovac, "Incubators in Hungarian hospital lobbies allow babies to be abandoned more safely," British Medical Journal, July 24, 1999.


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