An abandoned baby was discovered naked and covered in ants on Monday in China, a possible consequence of the country’s oppressive population control laws.
The Daily Mail reports someone left the baby in a paper bag on a street in Shantou, a city in the Guangdong Province of China. When the baby was found, it was covered in ants and mosquito bites, according to the report.
The baby’s gender is not mentioned in the reports. Authorities said they took the baby to the hospital for care; and the baby’s parents are unknown.
Here’s more from the report:
Dozens of ants were crawling into the bag where the baby had been left unclothed. A few items of clothing were put on top of the baby to cover the body.
Onlookers told a reporter from Pear Video that there were no identity documents or any messages found in the paper bag.
They were unsure how long the baby had been abandoned.
Two women who found the baby tried to take care of it by brushing off the ants until authorities arrived, according to local news reports. One of the women said she saw ants crawling in the baby’s mouth and all over its body.
It’s difficult not to wonder whether the baby’s abandonment was connected to the country’s population control laws. Until recently, most Chinese families were allowed to have one child. Those who broke the laws often faced heavy fines, job loss or even forced abortions and sterilizations.
Last year, the Chinese government revised the policy, allowing families to have two children instead of one. However, human rights advocates report women continue to be pressured to abandon or abort their babies, and other families are forced to hide their third children from authorities.
Baby girls particularly are targeted for abortion and abandonment. Some researchers estimate more than 30 million girls are missing from China’s population because they were killed before or after birth.
In 2014, a group set up baby drop boxes in 25 cities in China to help protect infants from abandonment. However, organizers shut down the project after more babies were brought to the boxes than they were able to care for.