Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Has Happened to Abortion in Korea?

In Korea, as mentioned in a previous blog, the infighting on abortion has begun, and it will be a nasty fight. The daily papers report there is much anger in society, because over 90% of the obstetricians are refusing to perform any abortions for fear of being singled out by the pro life gynecologists, and prosecuted by the government.

For the first time in Korean history, doctors are fighting with one another: the pro-life forces against the pro-choice group; both trying to sway public opinion. Koreans do not have the same feeling towards abortion that we have in the States: not a moral issue but a private family matter. Even Catholic doctors see it as a necessary evil; without which they would have to close their clinics. Many of the pro life doctors have experienced running their clinics with one hand performing abortions and delivering babies with the other. "It was considered a norm that an obstetrician/gynecologist doctor perform abortions," are the words of the pro-life leader.

The embarrassment to be called the Abortion Republic and the need to raise the birth rate for replacement is a strong drive for many of the doctors to enter the pro life movement. All agree the number of abortions should decrease. Polls say most of the Koreans are against unregulated abortion; they are illegal except for specific purposes, but no one is concerned and the government does not enforce the law.

Doctors are no longer going to take the chance of going to jail. Even in cases of rape or when minors become pregnant, doctors are refusing to get involved. The daily newspapers are arousing the compassion of the readers with cases that have no access to abortion, confronted with a new social reality. The pro life doctors are forcing discussion on abortion on a government and a society that did not want to see what was going on.

The Catholic Church is not involved with the movement. It is in the hands of doctors who do not have moral or religious reasons for their oppositions, but rather a desire not to kill and want the birth rate increased. The head of the movement said, " My decision regarding pro life is based not on religious belief but the fundamental duty as a medical doctor. "

Performing abortions is lucrative and without it many can't keep their clinics open. Doctors have already left for more lucrative areas of medicine. The pro choice groups are upset at the government handling of the situation. Politicians were indifferent to abortion, but very likely we will have a movement similar to the States where politicians are asked about abortion.

Pro choice people mention we will have illicit abortions performed with danger to life, because of unsanitary conditions; women going over seas for abortions; increase of poverty and higher prices for abortion because of risks. The desire to abort is strong in society, and with discussion now beginning; attempts to change the law will begin. The pro life gynecologist have started a successful movement the religious groups could not. The gynecologist are going to be hard to ignore, since a great many of them were very much involved with abortions before they turned pro life.