Sunday, 16 June 2019 | 11:29 WIB

South Korea Court to Revoke 65 Year-Old Ban on Abortion

South Korea Court to Revoke 65 Year-Old Ban on Abortion (shevolution)

SEOUL, NETRALNEWS.COM - The South Korean court says the ban on abortain, which had been upholded for 65 years, had restricted women's rights. All actions and parties related to abortion activities are no longer regulated by the laws of the country.

The court also stated that criminal articles for women who conduct abortion on their own will violate the law's objectives and limit women who are pregnant to make their own decisions. A Reuters report, quoted by Antara on Thursday (4/11/2019) said that as many as 7 out of 9 judges approved the amendment to the regulation.

The results of a study by the polling agency Realmeter, last week, showed that more than 58 percent of South Korean respondents chose to abolish the ban while 30 percent wanted to maintain it.

"I believe this regulation frees women from the shackles that strangle them," said Kim Su-jung, a lawyer representing a plaintiff, a doctor who was charged with 69 illegal abortions.

The court's decision reflects the trend towards the abortion ban, with the number of abortion law cases dropping in the past year.

Only eight new cases of illegal abortion were convicted in 2017. That number dropped from 24 cases in 2016, according to South Korean judiciary data. Of the 14 abortion cases that were tried in the district court in 2017, 10 were suspended because they were not proven to be crimes in a certain time.

Cases of abortion in South Korea have declined. The number of abortion practices among women between the ages of 15 and 44 in 2017 was 49,764 times, which was a decrease from 342,433 in 2005 and 168,738 in 2010 due to an increase in contraceptive use and a decrease in the number of women in that age range.

South Korea imposed a ban on abortion in 1953, when criminal law was first applied after the 1950-53 Korean war and has never since been changed.

According to the law, women who have an abortion can be sentenced to one year or less in prison and pay a fine of two million won or around Rp24.8 million.

The law also regulates medical personnel, including doctors, who are involved in abortion at the request of women to be sentenced to up to two years in prison and work permits revoked up to seven years.

There are exceptions that allow abortion within 24 weeks of pregnancy for health reasons, such as hereditary disease or pregnancy that are harmful to maternal health and pregnancy due to rape.

In all of these cases, women must get permission from their partners to take action, according to legal regulations.