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Baby drama in China stirs nation

Baby drama in China stirs nation
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Baby number 59 has become an overnight star in China after surviving a nightmare delivery in a public toilet.

Named after his incubator, his 22-year-old single mother says she was unable to afford an abortion, and attempted self-delivery.

Now doing well at 2.8 kilos, it was not looking so good just hours earlier when rescuers struggled to save his life.

After falling down a toilet he had to be extracted from the sewage system in which he had got stuck, then cut out of the 10-centimetre pipe once in hospital.

Apart from minor grazing and a low heart rate he seems none the worse for his two-hour ordeal.

His mother called for help after giving birth in the hotel where she rented a room and insists she was not aborting her child although she initially denied being its mother. The hotel’s owner found no trace of a birth in the toilets, and the mother claimed to have cleaned up afterwards.

On investigation police found bloodstained towels in the woman’s room, and say they are treating the case as attempted homicide.

She has received little public sympathy although the hospital has been flooded with donations and adoption offers. Unwanted pregnancies are on the rise in China despite the availability of abortions. Schools there offer no sex education.

There are frequent reports in Chinese media of babies being abandoned, often shortly after birth, a problem attributed variously to young mothers unaware they were pregnant, the birth of an unwanted girl in a society which puts greater value on boys or China’s strict family planning rules.