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November 9, 2009

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Father unknown, newborn shunned

OFFICIALS for the city's first hotline for unexpected pregnancies urged girls and young women to be more cautious when meeting men.

And they said the pressures on pregnant girls are especially keen if they come from families where their own parents are in a poor relationship.

The warnings came after a 20-year-old young woman delivered a dark-skinned girl on Saturday morning without knowing the father's identity.

As of yesterday, neither of her parents, who have been divorced for five years, showed up to care for her or the baby, said officials from the No. 411 Hospital of People's Liberation Army, which backs the hotline 6587-6866.

The hospital offered free delivery service to the woman and free necessities for the baby. And it planned to offer more help for her.

"But we can't support her forever and her parents must give a hand," said Zhu Weijie, a hospital official.

Since setting up the medical hotline four years ago, the hospital has received more than 30,000 calls and provided abortions for 2,000 girls and young women. More than 100 babies were delivered as it was too late for pregnancy termination.

About 30 percent of pregnant girls and young women had parents who were divorced or weren't getting along with each other.

Over half of the girls and young women who received abortions said they had little communication with their parents and most just turned to friends and classmates for help after having an unexpected pregnancy, the hotline learned.

The woman, jobless and homeless after resigning from a restaurant late last year, told hospital officials that she went to a bar in Jing'an District with two friends in February. They met two expatriate men there and went to their residence.

She claimed she lost consciousness after drinking some beverage. Then she had an affair with a black man whose name she never learned. She left the next morning without asking for his contact information and didn't call police, hospital officials said.

She found she was pregnant two months later and tried to commit suicide.

A sympathetic gate guard met the woman in July and bought her food every day since then.

A local TV station last week contacted the pregnancy hotline and arranged her hospitalization.


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