The South Korean Bishops’ Conference has just reacted to the government’s proposal to completely decriminalize abortion on the peninsula. Until now, it has been banned, except in certain extreme situations, but restrictions are widely flouted, and legal proceedings are rare.
At the end of August 2020, the Commission on Gender Equality Policy—an organ under the Ministry of Justice—issued a series of recommendations aimed at removing existing restrictions on abortion.
As of April 11, 2019, voluntary termination of pregnancy is no longer a crime and South Korea’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, has ordered the amendment of the 1953 law against abortion.
In response, the South Korean Bishops’ Conference has released a seven-point document reaffirming an emphatic “no” to decriminalizing abortion.
According to Korean prelates, the government initiative seeks absolute legalization of abortion, with no term limit, “in the name of self-determination of women’ rights.”
“Rather than decriminalizing abortion, we should create the right conditions for everyone, father and mother, to shoulder their share of the responsibility.”
The South Korean bishops are also standing up against the media which has taken up the cause of the liberalization of abortion: “They want to pass off as a right what remains a crime.”
In the conclusion of their intervention, the bishops consider that “complex laws should not be left to the arbitrariness of a vote based on a majority of votes, leaving aside universal values based on the dignity of human life.”
This dignity only has meaning in relation to the Creator on whom all human life arises and depends. God himself has inscribed in natural law absolute respect for the life of the innocent.
If words mean anything, such a law that delivers an innocent man to death in his mother’s womb is no better than the persecution in the other Korea - that of the North. It is always men who are murdered.