South Korea Moves Towards Legalization of Abortion

May 07, 2019

On April 11, 2019, the Constitutional Court of South Korea declared the prohibition of abortion unconstitutional, as provided by a 1953 law still in force. The bishops have protested against this decision.

The president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Korea made a statement saying, “The decision of the Constitutional Court denies the fundamental right of the fetus to live, while it is a matter of a creature having no ability to defend itself.”

Bishop Igino Kim Hee-jung took the opportunity to recall that “abortion is a sin, as is the killing of an innocent life in the womb, for any reason. Such is the teaching of the Church which can never justify such a practice.”

So far, in South Korea, women who have had an abortion—apart from a few exceptional cases, such as a pregnancy resulting from violence—can be fined or sentenced to prison.

The highest court in Korea established, in its ruling of April 11, that henceforth the law must be revised by the end of 2020. A dramatic decision, to which the bishops have replied that they will do everything possible to “support and promote life.”