Korean Government announces intention to introduce abortion up to 24 weeks

Korean Government announces intention to introduce abortion up to 24 weeks

The Government in South Korea has announced their intention to introduce a bill that would allow abortion across the nation.

Korea’s Ministry of Justice revealed earlier this month that they would bring forth legislation that would allow for abortion up to 24 weeks. 

Abortion is currenlty permitted in the Republic of Korea under certain circumstances, such as significant risk of serious injury or death, or if the pregnancy results from rape or incest. 

However, the Government are looking to expand those conditions. The Government’s release states that the introduction of abortion would, at minimum, allow abortion to take place up to 14 weeks in pregnancy. 

However, it is believed the proposals could be even more extreme and allow abortion on demand up to 14 weeks, and under certain circumstances, including ‘extenuating medical or economic circumstances’, up to 24 weeks. In overseas duristictions with similar grounds for abortion through to 24 weeks, this has in practice allowed de-facto abortion on demand.

University professor, Song Young-chae, who is against a change in law told DW: “[legalising abortion] goes against Korean values, our ancestors and society. Koreans… will always value all life, even if it is unborn.” 

In April 2019, the Korean Supreme Court declared that the country’s current abortion law is  unconstitutional.

A similar case tried before the court in 2012 upheld the Act as constitutional. 

After declaring the abortion law unconstitutional, the Supreme court ordered the legislature to amend the law by 31 December 2020 or the abortion law will become null and void.

Doctor jailed for killing baby who ‘burst out crying’ after abortion

A doctor has been charged for killing a 34-week-old baby who “burst out crying” after a failed abortion.

According to the Korea Times, 65-year-old obstetrician Dr Yun received 28 million won (£18,292) to perform an abortion at his maternity clinic in Seoul, South Korea.

However, the baby, who at 34-weeks had a chance of survival outside the womb of that close to a full-term baby, was born alive during the failed abortion and started to cry.

Instead of caring for the baby, Dr Yun placed the live baby in a bucket of water and left it to die.

The Seoul Central District Court on Friday suspended Dr Yun’s medical license for three years and sentenced him to three and a half years in prison.  

A three-judge panel of the court said in a statement: “Medical staff who participated in the operation have consistently said they heard the baby crying… It is clear that the doctor killed the baby, who was born alive.”

Earlier this year, a former nurse revealed how babies born alive in ‘failed’ abortions in the US were left to die – something which could happen under Northern Ireland’s new extreme abortion regime.

Under the regime, there is no mention of a legal requirement that babies born alive after an abortion are resuscitated or provided with medical assistance.

This is more common than many people think. In 2008, a UK report found that 66 infants were born alive after NHS terminations in one year. The majority of those 66 babies took over an hour to die.

In Victoria, Australia, where there is a similarly extreme abortion law, scores of babies were left to die after being removed alive during a number of ‘botched’ terminations, according to one official review.

The review reported that in 2011 there were 40 ‘terminations of pregnancy’ after 20 weeks ‘resulting in live birth’. While these figures are comparable in scale, Victoria’s population of 5.5 million is just a tenth of Britain’s.

This shows the scale of this problem in an environment where there are very few legal safeguards around abortion.

A large number of Northern Ireland MLAs have called for an opportunity to introduce new legislation to the Northern Ireland Assembly to repeal the new extreme abortion regime.  

Meanwhile, pro-abortion group Alliance for Choice is considering legal action against the Northern Ireland Department of Health because five of the health trusts it governs are not yet offering abortion services.

The Northern Ireland Department of Health is currently facing the largest public health crisis in a generation and have ensured their focus is on saving lives from Coronavirus.

Rolling out abortion would take vital resources away from the fight against Coronavirus and could cost an estimated £5 million per year, with a senior economist warning it would place further “strain” on an “already over-stretched health service”.Services such as vital cancer screening, leukaemia treatment, and occupational therapy for a baby with a heart defect have already been put on hold.