SOUTH KOREA – South Korean women campaigned hard for abortion law reform: and they got it!!!!

Since 6 April, some 60 pro-choice activist groups have been rallying in central Seoul, as have some 40 anti-abortion groups. Although a large majority in a recent survey of 10,000 people supported legalising abortion, not everyone agreed. In 2017, a high school student told a rally in Seoul she had been forced to end her education after having an abortion. “My teacher told me if I don’t leave school, he’d report me to the legal … Continued

SOUTH KOREA – Rally for abortion rights as Constitutional Court ruling is anticipated for this month

On 30 March, women’s rights activists took to the streets in central Seoul calling for the decriminalisation of abortion, a step that is necessary to protect women’s health and reproductive rights. The Constitutional Court is expected to rule this month on whether to uphold the restrictive law or rule that it is unconstitutional. The current law, from 1953, called the Mother and Child Health Law, says abortion is legal when the woman’s health is at … Continued

SOUTH KOREA – No arrests or charges following hospital investigation in Gyeongsang provinces

On 8 January 2019, we reported that women’s rights groups in the Gyeongsang provinces condemned a provincial police agency for investigating whether 26 women had had abortions in one maternity hospital. The police obtained information about the 26 women from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service. Reportedly, a staffperson at the hospital had threatened to report the doctor and asked the doctor for 8 million won (± US$ 7,200) because the doctor had refused … Continued

SOUTH KOREA – Women’s rights activists condemn police for investigating 26 women on abortions

Women’s rights groups in the Gyeongsang provinces condemned a provincial police agency for investigating 26 women on whether they had abortions. Members of the women’s rights groups, including the Gyeongnam Women’s United Association, said they held a meeting with officials at the South Gyeongsang Province Police Agency on Monday and delivered a letter of complaint. Their protest came after a police station in the province was revealed to have checked whether 26 women who had … Continued

SOLIDARITY REQUEST: SOUTH KOREA – SIGN Petition to Constitutional Court of South Korea: repeal Criminal Code on abortion

In South Korea, abortion is the only medical procedure included in the Criminal Code (Article 269 and 270) since 1953. Abortion is only legal if the pregnancy causes the woman serious physical health issues, if the pregnancy is a result of incest/rape, or for ‘eugenic’[sic] reasons. The law requires the consent of (male) spouses even with these grounds. Women can be sentenced to a year in prison or ordered to pay a fine of two … Continued

SOUTH KOREA – Abortion providers protest against new abortion restrictions by refusing to do abortions

The 1953 abortion law in South Korea, allows abortion in cases of rape, which must be proved by the woman, incest and when her health is at risk, in which case the partner’s consent is required. Initiated by the women’s movement, this law is under review by the country’s Constitutional Court. But the Court recently reported their ruling was delayed indefinitely. A news story reported that early in August, the Health Ministry issued revised regulations … Continued

SOUTH KOREA – A debate, a rally and other activities in support of abortion law reform

Amid what the Korea Times called “heated public discourse inching towards greater rights protection for women’s autonomy”, Dr Yoon Jeong-won, Head of Women’s Affairs of the Association of Physicians for Humanism, said, at a forum at the National Assembly building on 5 July, entitled “From Illegal Abortion to Reproductive Health”, that Korea should legalise abortion and guarantee women’s health rights by widening abortion choices such as approving the abortion pill. The forum was organised by … Continued

STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY SOUTH KOREA: Rally in Seoul on 7 July 2018

TO: Joint Action for Reproductive Justice network: Center for Health and Social Change, Femidangdang, Femimonsters, Flaming Feminist Action, Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center, Korean Women’s Associations United, Korea Women’s Hot Line, Network for Glocal Activism, Sexual and Reproductive Rights Forum, Womenlink, Women with Disabilities Empathy On behalf of the members of the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion in 119 countries around the world, I am writing to express our solidarity with everyone … Continued

SOUTH KOREA – The Constitutional Court is due to review the abortion law on 24 April

South Korean law criminalises abortion with only a few exceptions, such as when pregnancy results from rape or endangers the woman’s life. The Constitutional Court is due to review the abortion law this month. It was this same court that defended the anti-abortion law in 2012 when it ruled that: “Pregnant women’s self-determination should not overrule the fetus’ right to life.” However, since then, there were demonstrations inspired by the strikes in Poland in 2017 … Continued

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