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 million won (about U$ 2,000) for having an abortion. Doctors, midwives and any healthcare workers who provide abortions can face up to two years’ imprisonment.
Korean women and doctors who support sexual and reproductive health and rights have been fighting for decriminalisation of abortion since 2010. This year is a critical moment for this as the Constitutional Court is currently reviewing a case that challenges the constitutionality of these two articles. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Welfare issued revised regulations, increasing punishment for doctors who provide abortions. The Ministry also described abortion services as an “immoral medical practice”.
Abortion is a common experience in Korea. According to the most recent government estimate (2010), based on a survey of women of childbearing age, 169,000 abortions (16 per 1,000 people) took place. For the most part, the government has neglected abortion.
PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION to decriminalise abortion and expand access to safe abortion in South Korea. We’ll take the signatures directly to the Constitutional Court, and ask them to give their verdict, which has been delayed. By signing you will be a great support to the women’s movement in South Korea and a stunning wake-up call for our policymakers and judges.
-Article 269, 270 of the Criminal Code is unconstitutional. Repeal 269, 270!
-Provide safe abortion!
-Officially register medical abortion pills!
-Guarantee sexual rights and comprehensive sexuality education!
-Guarantee safe and legal abortion for everyone!
PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION, then share it with your colleagues and post on social media!
FROM: Na-Young, Network for Glocal Activism and Joint Action for Reproductive Justice in South Korea, 26 November 2018 ; VIDEO