Push to End South Korea Abortion Ban Gains Strength, and Signatures

Push to End South Korea Abortion Ban Gains Strength, and Signatures
By MOTOKO RICH
JAN. 13, 2018

SEOUL, South Korea — Lee Na-yeon was 18 years old and in her first semester in college when she discovered, to her dismay, that she was pregnant.

Ms. Lee went to a hospital and had an abortion. But as a graduate of a Catholic high school where she had been shown graphic videos portraying abortion as murder, she felt scared and tormented by guilt. She had also broken the law.

Abortion is illegal in South Korea with just a few exceptions, such as when a woman has been raped or her health is at risk. It is one of just a handful of the world’s richest countries to have such restrictive abortion laws. Women can be sentenced to a year in prison or ordered to pay fines of two million won (about $1,840) for having abortions, while doctors who perform them can get up to two years in prison.

Continued at source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/world/asia/south-korea-abortion-ban.html

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Taboo No More? Abortion in South Korea

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 Kicks Issue of Abortion Down the Road

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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Demanding Access to Abortion in South Korea

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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