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Abortion as crime

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By Park Moo-jong

Abortion as a crime has been a signature bone of contention in this society along with the perennial issue of decriminalizing prostitution.

A fact-finding survey, conducted after eight years, has reignited controversy over whether to legalize hitherto illegal abortion.

The survey by the state-run Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs found the majority of women, precisely nearly eight out of 10, absolutely support the decriminalization of abortion.

As there is no law without exceptions, the termination of pregnancy is legal when the mother's health is in serious danger or in cases of rape, incest or hereditary disorders.

However, it is not that easy for a woman who is raped and becomes pregnant as a consequence to have an abortion legally. She has to prove that it was rape, but police investigations usually take years.

If she is lucky enough to get her case declared rape, it would be too late (for her to terminate her unwanted pregnancy) by the time she gets a court judgment.

Needless to say, the age-old contention features the right to life, and women's self-determination.

To date, the government has stepped up its crackdown on abortion as part of efforts to boost the ever nose-diving birthrate in the face of a demographic........

© The Korea Times