South Korea Rules Sixty Year Old Abortion Ban Unconstitutional

On Thursday, Seoul’s Constitutional Court voted 7-to-2 to overturn the 66-year-old abortion ban in South Korea, which criminalized abortion except in cases of rape, incest or imminent danger to the women’s health, and was one of the strictest abortion bans in a developed country. The court ruled the abortion ban as unconstitutional and violated a pregnant women’s choice and “a pregnant woman’s right to self determination.” The court ordered Parliament to revise the abortion ban by deciding whether to restrict abortions in the late stages of a pregnancy, by the end of 2020. Until the deadline, the ban will still be enforced. If lawmakers do not meet the deadline, the ban will become void. Legalization paves the way for the first abortion rights in South Korea. Despite the overruling being met with praise from the majority, a small faction of Catholics and other Christian denominations have been vocal over their outrage. They held a protest outside of the court, whilst women’s health care advocates rallied on the other side. The anti-abortion protesters shouted demeaning terms like “murderers” and called the court ruling “against humanity.” Lee Yu-rim of the Sexual and Reproductive Rights Forum called the ruling a “historical milestone” and […]

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