South Korean Court Finds Abortion Ban Unconstitutional

Lawmakers must revise the law by December 2020.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — South Korea’s constitutional court has struck down a six-decade ban on abortion in a historic decision.

BBC reported that the court ordered for the law to be revised by the end of 2020.

South Korea’s 1953 ban fines and jails women who have abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or harm to their health. Doctors also risk imprisonment for performing the procedure.

The court decision came after a female doctor challenged the law when she was prosecuted for performing almost 70 abortions.

BBC reported that abortions are widely accessible in South Korea despite the ban and women who terminate their pregnancies are rarely arrested, but activists reportedly said the law endangered women and caused social stigma.

Abortion cases reportedly fell to 50,000 in South Korea in 2017 from 169,000 in 2010, mostly due to improved accessibility of contraceptive products and services.

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