Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Reducing the Number of Abortions in Korea
In the Chosun Ilbo,yesterday, there was a good and frank article on abortion in Korea. The tone of the article very sympathetic, came shortly after the New York Times featured photos of aborted babies on front page with a fair story of the pro life movement in the U.S. This was a surprise to many. The Korean article mentions that about 680 gynecologists from the 4000, have bonded together to do something about the number of abortions in Korea.
In Korea abortion is illegal. The Mother and Child Health Care Law gives a number of exceptions permitting abortion: if the spouses suffer from a hereditary physical or mental disease, cases where the mother's health is at risk, the baby to be born has severe birth defects or the pregnancy was caused by a sexual crime. This makes it rather easy to have an abortion fit the law.
The group of about 680 young gynaecologist have set a goal to lower the number of abortions in Korea by eliminating illegal abortions. This is a very noble and courageous move on the part of these doctors knowing the difficulty they will have from other doctors and the pro choice movement in Korea. This is the first time that anything of this type has been done in Korea.
This is an area of silence in Korea. Everybody knows that it is being done but little concern. The culture knows it is wrong but "times have changed". It is an uncomfortable subject to talk about. Nobody wants to see what is going on. The article mentioned that in a recent year, for the 450,000 births there were 350,000 abortions. It is with this background that the young doctors have begun the fight against illegal abortions. One can easily see how this is going to cause a problem with the many other doctors who consider this one of their lucrative specialties. The doctors' campaign is to clean up the area of OB/GYN. Those who continue to perform illegal abortions they will denounce in the court of law.
You have those in society who want to change the law to allow abortions, you have those who feel that it is women's right to do what they want with their bodies and you have the unconcern of the public which the doctors will have to contend with. More power to them and thanks to the Chosun Ilbo for the very happy piece of news.