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

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 who supports your rally on 7 July and everyone who supports your call for reform of your country’s abortion law and policy in order to benefit the lives of women and girls.

We have been aware for the past year of your many efforts to challenge the existing abortion law, which is far too restrictive to ensure that everyone who seeks an abortion is able to have it safely and without risk to their health and lives.

We have published articles in our newsletter reporting your activities, starting with the petition with 230,000 signatures that you collected last year, your support for women in Poland, and the marches and rallies you have held, as well as the Constitutional Court case which was heard in May. We have sent these news stories not only to our members but also to press and media in more than 60 countries.

I hope those attending your rally today are aware of the important successes our movement has had in the past months in reforming the abortion laws in countries as different as Chile, Ireland, Argentina, Macedonia, Isle of Man and Cyprus. We hope they know that as these successes have inspired women to march and call for law reform in Chile, Brazil, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, and Belgium.

Abortion is necessary as a consequence of unintended and unwanted pregnancy, and is part of the experience of one in every four women in the world. We are not baby machines though most of us will have children in our lifetimes. And we are not criminals when we claim the right to decide whether and when to have children so that we can care for the children we do have well.

Children are a lifelong responsibility. It may be easy for those who do not have to take any responsibility for their words to claim that it is acceptable to force women to have children they do not want and cannot care for. But they have never walked in our shoes, and they will never have to do so.

We support your call for the decriminalisation of abortion and for the guarantee of sexual and reproductive health and rights for everyone as a matter of reproductive and social justice.

We will report your rally in July and the decision of the Constitutional Court later in the year. We wish you the very best in your campaign.

In solidarity,

International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion