South Korea’s Constitutional Court Orders Revision Of Law Banning Abortion

Associated Press: South Korean court orders easing of decades-old abortion ban
“In a major reversal, South Korea’s Constitutional Court on Thursday ordered the easing of the country’s decades-old ban on most abortions, one of the strictest in the developed world. Abortions have been largely illegal in South Korea since 1953, though convictions for violating the restrictions are rare. … The court’s nine-justice panel said that the parliament must map out legislation to ease the current regulations by the end of 2020. It said the current abortion law was incompatible with the constitution and would be repealed if parliament fails to come up with new legislation by then…” (Kim, 4/11).

Yonhap News Agency: Korean society shows mixed reactions to top court’s pro-abortion ruling
“…Liberal civic activists and doctors welcomed the top court’s ruling, whereas conservatives and religious groups expressed strong dismay at its decision to ease the abortion ban. The domestic medical community welcomed the top court’s pro-choice ruling, saying it is based on reality and will help protect the health of pregnant women. … By contrast, a national alliance of 79 anti-abortion civic organizations expressed strong disappointment at the Constitutional Court’s decision. … The Catholic Church of Korea expressed regret over the Constitutional Court’s decision to ease abortion ban…” (4/11).

Additional coverage of the court’s ruling is available from Bloomberg, CNN, Financial Times, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Quartz, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

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