Decades-old ban on abortion to be lifted in South Korea

The constitutional court in South Korea has ruled that the country’s decades-old ban on abortion must be lifted.

© Kim Chul-Soo/EPA

This historic decision marks a major victory for pro-choice campaigners as the country had banned abortions 66 years ago. The court announced that the 1953 law was unconstitutional and needed to be revised by the end of the year.

The court said in a statement: “The abortion ban limits women’s rights to pursue their own destinies, and violates their rights to health by limiting their access to safe and timely procedures.”

Doctors being caught performing terminations can be imprisoned for up to two years under the current law and women can face a maximum one-year sentence or a fine of up to 2 million won (£1,341).

“Women deserve to be happy as much as we want to be today,” said Bae Bok-ju, an activist to The Guardian. “Today’s decision was made because countless women ceaselessly fought for their rights for so many years. We deserve the world’s attention and we deserve its recognition.”

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