HomeWorldWorldSouth Korea decriminalizes abortion on the first day of 2021

South Korea decriminalizes abortion on the first day of 2021

South Korean women’s rights activists, April 2019 Image: Jung Yeon-je / AFP

Abortion is no longer an illegal practice in South Korea as of this first day of 2021. The right to voluntary termination of pregnancy, previously only accepted for victims of rape or in cases of risk to the health of the pregnant woman, is now extended to all the women. The law that criminalized abortion was removed this Friday (1st) from the country’s legislation.

This is undoubtedly a victory, savored by Na Young, leader of the Share association, an organization that defends women’s rights. Following a 67-year ban, voluntary termination of pregnancy is no longer illegal in South Korea.

“Members of the National Assembly did not agree to amend the existing law. But the law was due to expire after the Constitutional Court’s decision in April 2019, which declared it illegal. The criminal provisions on abortion in the law that criminalized it are no longer in place. effective January 1, 2021. I am very happy to share this good news from South Korea, “said Young.

No official abortion limit

However, there is no official limit to the practice of abortion in a country with conservative customs. The pro-life movement is reacting and organizing itself so that many amendments are passed. First, to prohibit abortion after six or ten weeks of pregnancy, and then, so that doctors have the option to refuse abortion.

Some women’s rights groups also want a legal framework, which guarantee access to abortion for all and social security coverage.

In all, eight amendments were presented at the National Assembly, which should generate a heated debate in the coming months.

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