Study: Anonymous childbirth cuts newborn killings

December 5, 2012

(AP)—An Austrian university says that the number of newborns deliberately killed within 24 hours of their birth has been cut by more than half in the country because of a law allowing mothers to remain anonymous during and after delivery.

's medical university says the rate dropped dramatically after the law was passed in 2001. In a study it made public Wednesday, the university says that around three in 100,000 were killed between the years 2002 and 2009, compared to about 7 per 100,000 between 1991 and 2001.

The study says the rate did not fall between 2002 and 2009 in Sweden and , which do not allow for anonymous delivery.

The study estimates that between 30 and 40 women in Austria make use of the law annually.

Explore further: Study finds unique 'anonymous delivery' law effective in decreasing rates of neonaticide in Austria

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