In a long-awaited move, South Korea has decided to amend its anti-abortion laws by granting women the right to terminate their pregnancy at their request within 14 weeks from conception without any reason. The South Korean Ministry of Justice’s announcement on Wednesday struck down a decades-long abortion ban in the country.

South Korea Amends Anti-Abortion Laws

According to the ministry’s statement, the termination of pregnancy at 24-week term because of  any medical condition will also be possible along with the voluntary abortions within the 14-week term. The Justice Ministry also allowed medical authorities to use the drug mifepristone for performing abortions.

As per ANI, the South Korean authorities are all set to review and adopt the bill with effect from Wednesday, October 7, 2020. They have also given the public around 40 days to submit their views and opinions on the amendments made to the anti-abortion laws. Afterwards, they will send the bill to the National Assembly for approval.

Also Read: Alabama’s Abortion Ban Is On Hold, But Can Women Rejoice?

What You Should Know: 

  • South Korea has decided to amend its anti-abortion laws by granting women the right to terminate a pregnancy at their request within 14 weeks from conception without any reason.
  • The South Korean Ministry of Justice’s announcement of the decision on Wednesday struck down a decades-long abortion ban in the country.
  • Reportedly, the South Korean authorities are all set to review and adopt the bill with effect from Wednesday, October 7. 

Also Read: Abortion Laws For Women: Why Is The Womb So Heavily Legislated?

Amendment To Abortion Laws Receives Mixed Reactions

According to a National Post report, the amendment garnered mixed reactions from the South Korean populace. Many women’s rights groups have opposed the amendment as they think that the law still focuses on punishing women. Commenting upon the same, the Joint Action for Reproductive Justice in Seoul said, “Instead, any law should focus on how to safely provide the procedure.” The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea also issued a statement condemning the decision. It said that children must be protected “from the very moment of conception.”

Notably, the opinion polls conducted ahead of the court’s ruling indicated that three-quarters of South Koreans supported the removal of the ban.

South Korea’s Abortion Laws

South Korea’s abortion ban has been in effect since 1953. Reportedly, the country’s leaders implemented the ban as they wanted to increase South Koreas’ population. Consequently, it was also included in the country’s criminal code. South Korean authorities amended the ban in 1973 and permitted abortion in special cases like rape, incest, pregnant woman’s health risks, and if to-be-parents have any hereditary or communicable diseases.

However, in April 2019, the South Korean Constitutional Court ordered the South Korean government to revise the anti-abortion laws by the end of 2020. The apex court rendered the laws as unconstitutional and detrimental to women’s rights.

Also Read: Women Protesters Demand Legalisation Of Abortion In Mexico

Picture Credits: BBC

Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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