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
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
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
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
Through a critical review of current laws, this paper attempts to explain the legal, social, and cultural factors underlying the discrepancy between restrictive laws and enforcement of the regulation.
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
The South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s office said on Sunday that it will begin a review on the country’s 64-year-old law to ban abortion. The announcement came after more than 230,000 South Koreans filed a petition calling for the abolition of the law. South Korea criminalized abortion in 1953 when its leaders wanted to boost the population and build an army powerful enough to fend off its rival North Korea. The law was revised to allow … Continued
In September this year, a petition on a government website called on President Moon Jae-in to amend the abortion law and approve the sale of mifepristone. The government has promised to respond to any petition that gains more than 200,000 signatures in a month. This petition got 235,000 signatories. A recent survey of 516 adults found that 51.9% supported the petition. The NGO Womenlink said they were “stunned by the fervour” of those who signed. … Continued
Joint Action for Reproductive Justice, a network of Korean feminist groups and organizations, and many other feminist groups and individuals,took part in the Global Day of Action this year. In Korea, the Criminal Code Articles 269/270 makes all abortions illegal, with punishments of imprisonment or a fine for women and imprisonment and loss of employment for providers. The Mother and Child Health Act (1973, amended 1986 and 2012)permits abortion with the women’s and spouse/partner’s … Continued
On 12 October, feminist groups held a press conference in front of the Central Government Complex in Seoul. On 15 October, hundreds of people dressed in black held a rally to demand decriminalization of abortion, inspired by the recent “black protest” in Poland. The abortion debate ignited by the government’s proposed penalties had sparked a campaign for decriminalisation of abortion and women’s right to self-determination.