Skip to content

South Korean court finds abortion ban unconstitutional

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
4/12/2019 (8 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

South Korea's Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled an abortion ban in the country to be unconstitutional, receiving mixed responses from Korean citizens.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
4/12/2019 (8 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: South Korean, abortion ban, unconstitutional


Seoul, South Korea, (CNA) - Seven of the nine justices on the court voted to repeal the law, ordering it to be revised by 2020. Two of the justices dissented.

The law, which was established in 1953, banned abortion except in cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, and serious risks to the mother's health.

Under the law, a woman who sought an abortion could face up to a year in prison or a $1,750 fine. A doctor who performed an abortion could face up to two years in prison.

The case was taken up by South Korea's Constitutional Court after an obstetrician was prosecuted for performing 69 illegal abortions during 2013 and 2015.

Kim Su-jung, the obstetrician's lawyer, applauded the court's decision, saying, "I believe this ruling frees women from shackles," according to Reuters.

The repeal drew criticism from pro-life advocates. According to KBS Radio, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea decried the court's decision, reiterating the Church's stance against abortion.

A statement signed by Archbishop Kim Hee-joong of Gwangju, president of the bishops' conference, said the court decision denies vulnerable human beings of their basic right to life. It also stated that the ruling unjustly excludes men from their responsibility in unplanned pregnancies.

The Archbishop of Seoul, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soojung, has been an outspoken critic of legalizing abortion in South Korea's national debates.

"We should instead strengthen institutions that can help women healthily give birth to babies and raise them by recognizing a newborn's life as responsibility shared by both women and men, as well as society," said the cardinal, according to the China Daily.

"Human dignity cannot be decided by majority vote or judged by socioeconomic standards," Cardinal Yeom said at a Mass for Catholic congressmen last month.

Reuters reported that, due to contraceptive use, abortions in the country have decreased in recent years, with about 50,000 abortions in 2017. The majority of these abortions are illegal, but the government has been lax on the law's enforcement. During the same year, only eight claims of illegal abortion were newly prosecuted.

Before the court's decision, Cha Hee-jae, head of March for Life Korea, expressed concern that abortions would become more prevalent without the law.

"The government has done nothing to limit abortions," he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. "What will happen if the law gets abolished? Abortions will only increase."


Comments


More Asia Pacific

Evangelization begins with listening, Cardinal Tagle says Watch

Image of Cardinal Tagle president of Caritas International visits Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh

Listening is the first step in evangelization, the newly-appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples said ... continue reading


Amid terrorism fears in Indonesia, heavy security planned for Christmas Watch

Image of Catholic church in Rantepao South Sulawesi Indonesia

Authorities in Indonesia are expected to deploy 160,000 security personnel to ensure Christmas and New Year's celebrations safe, according ... continue reading



Congress advances bill condemning China 're-education' camps Watch

Image of Capitol at Sunset

The House of Representatives this week passed legislation recognizing the mass detention of Uyghurs and other abuses committed by the ... continue reading


Chinese bishop says Catholics must put 'love for homeland' first Watch

Image of China

A Chinese bishop has said that Catholics in the country must put their loyalty to the state before the faith. Bishop John Fang Xingyao made ... continue reading


From the Philippines, a missionary in Tokyo Watch

Image of Fr. Raniel Berdos

On Sundays, Fr. Raniel Berdos can be found strolling the aisles of St. Mary's Cathedral in Tokyo. Tokyo, Japan, (CNA) - On Sundays, Fr. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.