A group of three men are working to build cemeteries for aborted fetuses in Quang Tri in central Vietnam.

Last last year Vo Huu Hanh thought of retrieving aborted fetuses and giving them proper burials and formed a team with his two closest friends Hoang Van Ha and Hoang Chung, Viet Nam News reported.

Hanh said he decided to create the cemetery because of the pity he felt for the aborted fetuses, as they were disposed of as if they were garbage. He said Catholic groups around the country had been doing something similar but nothing of the sort was happening in Quang Tri.

The three men are neither Buddhists nor Catholics, but share the traditional Vietnamese belief that age is determined from conception, not birth. Under local culture, a body should be buried and incense hit to commemorate the deceased.

Abortion is legal in Vietnam up to 22 weeks of pregnancy and the abortion rate is one of the highest in the world, a problem often blamed on poor sex education.

The idea has been challenging, because of problems finding a suitable site for the cemetery. And efforts to contact women who have had abortions have also been tricky.

Their 300 square-meter cemetery holds 100 small graves but should allow ten times that amount, before they need more land.

The three men have said their wives support their work, although they receive no payment and perform burials for free. But they are open to donations from around the country.