South Korea Lifts Abortion Ban

South Korea recently lifted its 66-year-old abortion ban. The country’s constitutional court gave politicians until 2020 to update the law. The historic decision came about from a case involving a female doctor who was prosecuted for performing abortions. She challenged the 1953 law, which threatened doctors who performed abortions with jail time and won her case, arguing that the law limited women’s rights.

About 58 percent of the public were in favor of overturning the ban. One in five women who’ve been pregnant has had an abortion. Nearly 50,000 abortions were performed in the country in 2017. Under the ban, women who aborted their pregnancies were threatened with fines and incarceration. Exceptions were made for situations involving incest, rape or if the woman’s life was at risk.

The Realist Woman’s take:

I wasn’t aware South Korea had a ban on abortions, but I’m pleased with the high court's decision. Let’s acknowledge the women’s movement in the country and their relentlessness in the fight for women’s rights and most importantly women’s health.