South Korea: Time for reality check on abortion

[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.

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