Taboo No More? Abortion in South Korea

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Taboo No More? Abortion in South Korea
Responding to a public petition, the Moon administration will take a close look at the current abortion ban.

By Clint Work
December 09, 2017

In August, the Moon administration announced it would publicly respond to any petition posted to the Blue House website that received more than 200,000 signatures. On September 30, a petition emerged calling for the decriminalization of abortion and legalization of abortion pills, based on a woman’s right to her own body. By late October, the petition surpassed the threshold required for public comment, and (as of this writing) has received a total of 235,372 signatures. In a video posted November 26, Blue House Secretary for Civil Affairs Cho Kuk offered the government’s response.

Cho said the government would conduct a fact-finding study next year to accurately determine the status of abortion in South Korea, gather public opinion data on the issue, and examine the reasons behind the criminal ban on the practice. The last such study, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, occurred in 2010. Although previously carried out at five-year intervals, the funds apparently were unavailable in 2015 under the administration of Park Geun-hye.

Continued at source: https://thediplomat.com/2017/12/taboo-no-more-abortion-in-south-korea/

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South Korea: Time for reality check on abortion

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[Feature] Time for reality check on abortion
By Jo He-rim
Dec 3, 2017

It is a cliche in Korean soap operas for the vicious and disapproving mother of the male lead to pressure the female lead to “remove” the baby she’s expecting. She soon disappears, struggles through life as a single mom, and later by chance reunites with the man who, after finding out she didn’t give up the baby despite stigma and obstacles, falls back in love with her.

All of this is as if abortion were a valid option for women in South Korea.

But, under the anti-abortion law introduced in 1953, the termination of pregnancy is only permissible when the mother faces serious health risks or in cases of rape, incest or hereditary disorders. Even in those cases, abortion is prohibited after the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Continued at source: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171203000239

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South Korea Kicks Issue of Abortion Down the Road

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South Korea Kicks Issue of Abortion Down the Road
Government Claims Research Needed, So Women’s Rights Must Wait

November 28, 2017
Heather Barr, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division heatherbarr1

A woman holds a sign at a pro-choice rally at the Cheonggye Plaza in Seoul on August 31, 2010. © 2010 Left 21
Women in South Korea are demanding an immediate end to the country’s restrictive anti-abortion laws, but so far the government isn’t listening. President Moon Jae-In pledged in August his government would publicly respond to any petition posted to the government’s website that received more than 200,000 signatures within one month. In late October, a petition calling for legalization of abortion passed that threshold.

On November 26, the government responded by buying time.

Continued at source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/11/28/south-korea-kicks-issue-abortion-down-road

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S. Korean gov’t promises to engage actively in debate on abortion

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S. Korean gov't promises to engage actively in debate on abortion
By Yonhap

Published : Nov 26, 2017

South Korea's government on Sunday promised to give more active consideration to growing public demand to permit artificial abortion.

The presidential office released its position toward a petition, posted on its homepage, whose signatories exceeded 200,000 in late October.

Cho Kuk, the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, said the government will resume a survey on abortion next year and will make efforts to promote public debate to resolve the dispute.

Continued at source: http://nwww.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171126000264

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South Korea May Overturn Longstanding Abortion Ban

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South Korea May Overturn Longstanding Abortion Ban
Grace Carr
11/26/2017

South Korea has long prohibited women from having abortions, but the government may repeal the ban and announced Sunday that it will begin a thorough review of the nation’s abortion policies.

The Sunday announcement from the president’s office comes in response to a petition from a group of South Koreans calling on President Moon Jae-in to amend the law and allow abortions, according to The Economist. “Unwanted pregnancy is a tragedy for all, including the woman, the unborn child and the country,” the petition reads, asking the government to approve the mifepristone abortion pill, which is available in other countries like the United States.

Continued at source: http://dailycaller.com/2017/11/26/south-korea-may-overturn-longstanding-abortion-ban/

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South Korea to review whether or not to abolish anti-abortion law

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South Korea to review whether or not to abolish anti-abortion law

Reuters Staff
Nov 26, 2017

SEOUL (Reuters) - The South Korean president’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 abolishment 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.

Continued at source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-abortion/south-korea-to-review-whether-or-not-to-abolish-anti-abortion-law-idUSKBN1DQ0C9?il=0

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Demanding Access to Abortion in South Korea

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Demanding Access to Abortion in South Korea
235,000 Petitioners Call for South Korean Government to Act

Heather Barr, Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division heatherbarr1
November 24, 2017

Abortion is illegal in South Korea. But women are demanding change, and more than 235,000 have signed a petition, posted by a netizen on September 30 on the presidential office website, that calls for the government to legalize abortion, including by providing access to mifepristone, an abortion-inducing drug available in many countries around the world.

This petition mechanism demonstrates a new level of access and participation in South Korea’s government. The way it works is the government allows members of the public to post a petition on its website for 30 days. In August, the new government of president Moon Jae-in reiterated its commitment by pledging to formally respond within 30 days to any petition that gathers more than 200,000 signatures.

Continued at source: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/11/24/demanding-access-abortion-south-korea

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A campaign to legalise abortion is gaining ground in South Korea

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A campaign to legalise abortion is gaining ground in South Korea

But politicians are ducking the issue
Nov 9th 2017

WHEN So-yeong, a pupil in secondary school, found out she was pregnant in January, she was at a loss. She knew abortion was illegal, and that she could be sent to jail for a year for getting one (doctors providing them risk two years behind bars). But she also knew that she could not keep the baby if she wanted to continue her education. Eventually she told her parents. Her mother arranged for a surreptitious abortion at a hospital, paying in cash. So-yeong (she asked that her real name not be used) tried to return to school in March “with a heavy heart”, only to find out that she was being expelled for “setting a bad example” to her peers.

In September a petition appeared on a government website, calling on the government of Moon Jae-in, the president (and the first liberal to hold the office in ten years), to amend the law.

Continued at source: https://www.economist.com/news/asia/21731135-politicians-are-ducking-issue-campaign-legalise-abortion-gaining-ground-south

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South Korea shaman not charged after absolving abortion ‘guilt’ for $500,000

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South Korea shaman not charged after absolving abortion 'guilt' for $500,000
By Elizabeth Shim
Aug. 30, 2017

A South Korean woman who spent nearly $500,000 on spiritual services from a traditional shaman will not be recouping her money, despite claims her "adviser" may have tricked her client.

Shim Hyeong-seop, the presiding judge on the case in a Seoul district court, said Friday it is inconclusive whether the defendant, 45, had cheated her client of money, EDaily reported.

Continued at source: UPI: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/08/30/South-Korea-shaman-not-charged-after-absolving-abortion-guilt-for-500000/7001504114629/

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Human Rights Watch Submission on South Korea to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

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Human Rights Watch Submission on South Korea to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
June 20, 2017

We write in advance of the 69th pre-sessional working group of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and its review of South Korea’s compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This submission focuses on restrictions on women’s reproductive rights, LGBT rights and sex education in schools, ongoing discrimination against women, and addresses articles 3, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16 of the Convention.

Continued at source: Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/20/human-rights-watch-submission-south-korea-committee-elimination-discrimination

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