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.

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