Abortion Korea – Truth and History Of Abortion In South Korea!

korea abortion

In this article we will share to you all about aborion in korea – the truth and history of abortion in South Korea. For decades, in South Korea, abortion was considered a criminal act of a mother to a baby, as the right of the fetus to live superceeded a women’s right of her own body.

korea abortion

Two years ago, on April 11, 2019, it suddenly ruled that criminalizations of abortion was unconstitutional. These days, we hear many rumors around this issues especially since the abortion scandal of Kim Seon Ho and his ex girlfriend Choi Young Ah.

Abortion Law

korea abortion

Credit to Jung Yeon-Je / AFP / Getty Images

Article 269 (Abortion)

(1) A woman who procures her own miscarriage through the use of drugs or other means shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding 2 million won [about US$1,770].

Article 270 (Abortion by Doctor, etc., Abortion without Consent)

(1) A doctor, herb doctor, midwife, pharmacist, or druggist who procures the miscarriage of a woman upon her request or with her consent, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than two years.

Fight Against the Criminalizations of Abortion

korea abortion

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On April 11, 2019, the law that stated women who willingly plan and do the abortions would be put to jail or pay the fine up to 2 million korean won (Korean Criminal Code article 269) was declared unconstitutional by the Korean Constitutional Court and ordered this law to be amended, as well as the law that banned women from seeking abortions from medical proffesionals (Article 270).

korea abortion

Credit to MBN

The Constitutional Court did not invalidate the two provisions immediately. The court ordered the National Assembly to make a revision to the provisions by December 31, 2020, that would reflect its decision. The court decided that if the National Assembly failed to pass a related bill by then, articles 269 and 270 of the Criminal Act would become invalid.

korea abortion

On October 2020, the government made public a bill to revise the Criminal Act and the Mother and Child Health Act to allow for abortion up through just 14 weeks, and in exceptions of health risk to the mother, incest, mental health, infectious disease or rape that resulted in pregnancy, up through the 24th weeks.

South Korea Legalize Abortion After 66 years ban

korea abortion

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For decades, abortion was banned in south korea, with only exceptions for those in certain circumstances of health or social problem such as rape. Even up to the last decades in 2012, lawmakers still voted to uphold the law that just make abortion act as a criminal act, enforce the belief and protections of the rights of the baby (fetus) to live.

Yet on April 2019, we can see the difference in lawmaker’s mind and so created a new and different results. The discussion end up in 7 out of 9 judges of Korean Consitutional Court ruled to cancel the criminalization of abortion act as we need to protect women’s right and it was unconstitutional.

Women Express Their Support

korea abortion

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Even though abortion has been illegal in south korea for decades, the truth is that many people still go somewhere illegal to do illegal abortion that is really dangerous and costly. Recently many women start expressing their opinion to support women’s right to choose the best for their body.

korea abortion

Surveys have shown that 75.4% of Korean women believe that the abortion crime law needs to be revised. Some reasons of abortions such as financial situation, not desire a children, hindering career and study, incest, rape, health risk and mental issue.

Abortion in Korea Decriminalized by 2021

korea abortion

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Early this year of 2021, abortion ban has totally and officially canceled and void. In August, it was announced that women should have a private consultation with medical doctor in regards to abortion in order to make a safe decision and agreement between the medical doctor and the women.

This private consultation is partially covered by the National Health Insurance System, however the abortion procedures will be paid by each person who chose to do it.

Doctors Against Abortion

korea abortion

The Korean Society of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Korean Society of Maternal & Child Medicine, and the Korean Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists publicly express their opinion about abortion and strongly urge the lawmakers to create a bill that includes the right for doctors to refuse abortion services.

Some politicians agree with the doctors and so added in to discussion about making another law to protect doctors free will, personal choices and religious belief to not perform an abortion.

Pregnancy Hinder Women's Career

korea abortion

Many of times, women are expected to leave their job and take care of her children after giving birth. However, often times this might be the end of their career, as many company prefer a single women or married women without a kids rather than a new mother as they’re expected to be the primary care giver for her child.

Abortion Law Revision Sparks Controversy

korea abortion

Currently more people in south korea choosing not to marry or having children which caused a decline in birth rate year after year.

While many women support the right of women’s to choose for themselves, many other people disagreed with abortion and express the reasons is that every life, including the unborn is precious. They said that there should be a balance and a solutions such as a better sexual educations to prevent unwanted pregnancy.


korea abortion

It’s not clear what this abortion law will be in the future, as this is a very sensitive topic that need to be discuss further in order to get the best solutions and agreement from as many people in both party, not as simple as choose the baby’s right or women’s right.

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