Report: Fetal abduction cases on the rise

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The story of a pregnant Colorado woman being lured to another woman's home by a Craigslist ad, only to have her baby forcibly removed from her womb, has gripped the nation this week.

But as gruesome and disturbing as the case is, this is not an isolated incident, according to the Washington Post.

A study in the Journal of Forensic Science discovered eight reported cases of fetal abduction, also known as Cesarean kidnapping, between 1987 and 2002. The Washington Post cites more recent cases that have occurred in Missouri, Seattle and Maryland between 2004 and 2009. Psychologist Theresa Porter, who has researched the topic extensively, counted 21 examples of fetal abduction worldwide since 1987.

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According to the Washington Post, fetal abductions have roots in the hospital baby snatching trend that took place in the 1990s. Now that hospitals have increased security measures, some desperate women have moved to a more direct and gruesome approach.

The “womb raiders” as those who commit fetal abduction are sometimes called, are not insane, according to Porter. These women seek the attention that society gives pregnant women and new mothers, and are willing to kill to fill that emotional need.