South Korea May Overturn Abortion Ban

by David Nussman  •  •  May 25, 2018   

Constitutional Court hearing appeal to overturn the law

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SEOUL, South Korea ( - As Irish voters are deciding whether or not to decriminalize abortion, a similar controversy over abortion is coming to South Korea's Constitutional Court.

Currently, South Korean law prohibits abortion in most circumstances. Abortion is technically only allowed in cases of rape, incest and health concerns, but the law is weakly enforced. Illegal abortions are fairly common and in many cases go unprosecuted.

In explaining the law against abortion, some say it was influenced by the presence of Evangelical Protestantism in the country.

A recent push to overturn the abortion ban has reached its way to South Korea's highest court. Arguments were heard in the Constitutional Court on Thursday.

One of the supporters of the push to fully legalize abortion is the so-called Human Rights Watch. The large international non-profit, among the many causes to which it devotes itself, is officially committed to so-called "abortion access."

South Korea's Ministry of Gender Equality and Family also filed a pro-abortion opinion to the Constitutional Court.

In other news, South Korea's government recently announced that it will conduct a survey of 10,000 women in upcoming months to get a sample of the prevalence of abortion in the country.

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At times, South Korea has tacitly encouraged abortion as a way of promoting population control and small families.

This comes in the middle of the Republic of Ireland's referendum about abortion. Irish voters are getting the chance to decide whether or not the nation should repeal the Eighth Amendment — an amendment to the Irish Constitution which upholds the right to life of unborn children.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has been slighted for not standing firmly in favor of saving Ireland's Eighth Amendment. Secular sources such as The Wall Street Journal have been acutely aware of this. The Church in Ireland is dying, as younger generations are abandoning Catholicism in droves.

Supporting South Korea's law against abortion is Choi Yi-hwa, a woman who has had two abortions. She told The New York Times in January that it took her years to recover from the trauma and guilt that resulted from her abortions. The article quotes her as saying about her two abortions, "I still feel that there was sin involved."

She favors keeping the country's abortion laws in place because she feels it makes women with unplanned pregnancies think twice before trying to get an abortion.


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