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Khmer word for fetus

The Editor,

I will not comment on the statements by the ever-pious Dr Lao Mong Hay regarding

his feelings on Buddhism as a state religion, the abortion law, and the "need

to restore moral and ethical values" in Cambodia.

I would, however, like to point out his mistake in asserting that there is "no

word for 'fetus'" in the Khmer language, and that the term "human infant"

is used instead. Dr Lao then continues to make the extrapolation that since this

is a "Cambodian conception", "this is a term of life" and therefore

"abortion is a violation of human rights".

The word for "fetus" is Khmer is "koa", which is a Sanskrit word

meaning "embryo" or "fetus". While this word is not always used

in everyday conversation, it does exist.

- Jason Roberts, United States.

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