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Roe vs. Wade Korea style

21 1 0
By Jason Lim

South Korea's Constitutional Court ruled that the current abortion law wasn't consistent with the Korean constitution and will have to be amended by the National Assembly by end of next calendar year. There seems to be a widespread support for this shift, especially since there really hasn't been enforcement against abortion for the last few decades.

In fact, when I lived in Korea in the late 1990's, I was surprised to hear that abortion was illegal since the social norms seemed to regard it as perfectly acceptable. I think it became an issue recently as the birthrate plummeted to the lowest among OECD countries, driving some to view the illegality of abortion as a forcing mechanism for women to have more babies. Not surprisingly, such arm twisting didn't find much resonance in today's Korean society, leading to this showdown that was won by the pro-choice groups.

What I find interesting in this decision was how the Constitutional Court judges framed the right of women to have an abortion. They pointed to Article 10 of the Republic of Korea Constitution that states: "All citizens shall be assured of human dignity and worth and have the right to pursue happiness. It is the duty of the state to confirm and guarantee the........

© The Korea Times