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{| class="wikitable" style="width:200px; border:1px solid black;float:right"
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[[File:Seoul-410269 960 720.jpg|400px | thumb|right|]]
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|colspan="8" style="text-align:center"|[[File:Seoul-410269 960 720.jpg|300px | thumb|right|]]
 
|-
 
| '''Contraception: Over-the-Counter'''
 
| condoms, pills
 
|-
 
| '''Contraception: Prescription/Clinic Required'''
 
| IUD, implant, ring (call pharmacy in advance to request)
 
|-
 
| '''Emergency Contraception'''
 
| prescription required
 
|-
 
| '''STIs'''
 
| no travel restrictions; HIV-positive foreigner deported
 
|-
 
| '''Menstrual Products'''
 
| pads, tampons, cups
 
|-
 
| '''Abortion Law'''
 
| legal in restricted circumstances (law is in transition & may change)
 
|-
 
| '''LGBTQ Laws'''
 
| homosexuality legal; gender change legal
 
|-
 
| '''Related Pages'''
 
| [[Busan]], [[South Korea]]
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
 
  
 
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As the largest city in South Korea, Seoul has advanced and varied medical services. Contraceptives (birth control) can be purchased at pharmacies over-the-counter though you need a doctor's prescription for emergency contraception. While many facilities offer STI tests, it is important to exercise caution and choose anonymous testing centers. If you are a foreigner and test positive for HIV/AIDS or syphilis, you will most likely be deported from South Korea. For many years, abortion was illegal, but the laws are currently in a state of transition (see "Abortion" section below for details). As of 2021, abortion appears to be on its way to being decriminalized, but abortion is still not available upon demand.<ref>[https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/10/12/south-korea-partially-recognizes-reproductive-rights South Korea Partially Recognizes Reproductive Rights]</ref>
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As the largest city in South Korea, Seoul has advanced and varied medical services. Contraceptives can be purchased at pharmacies over-the-counter though you need a doctor's prescription for emergency contraception. While many facilities offer STI tests, it is important to exercise caution and choose anonymous testing centers. If you are a foreigner and test positive for HIV/AIDS or syphilis, you will most likely be deported from South Korea. While abortion is illegal, there are accounts of women secretly obtaining abortions. If you are pregnant and have the means to travel, it is advisable to seek abortions elsewhere, such as in mainland [[China]], [[Hong Kong]] or [[Japan]].  
  
 
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===Laws & Social Stigmas=== <!--T:7-->
 
===Laws & Social Stigmas=== <!--T:7-->
 
''For full coverage of this topic, you can visit the main article on the [https://gynopedia.org/South_Korea#Laws_.26_Social_Stigmas South Korea] page.''
 
  
 
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According to a 2015 UN report, it was found that 78.7% of South Korean women (who were married/in unions and of reproductive age) used some form contraception. The most common methods were condoms (23.9%), male sterilization (16.5%), IUDs (12.6%), the rhythm method (9.7%) and female sterilization (5.8%).<ref name="un_contraceptivesreport2015">[http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/family/trendsContraceptiveUse2015Report.pdf Trends in Contraceptive Use 2015]</ref> Meanwhile, the usage of birth control pills by South Korean was very low, with estimates ranging between 2%<ref name="un_contraceptivesreport2015" /> and 2.8%.<ref>[http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20120607000915 Korean Herald])</ref> Many men and women also underwent the forced sterilization programs of the 1970s and 1980s.<ref>[https://thegrandnarrative.com/2012/02/16/korean-family-planning/ Learning From Korean Family Planning Advertisements of the 1960s-1980s]</ref>
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According to a 2015 UN report, it was found that 78.7% of South Korean women (who were married/in unions and of reproductive age) used some form contraception. The most common methods were condoms (23.9%), male sterilization (16.5%), IUDs (12.6%), the rhythm method (9.7%) and female sterilization (5.8%).<ref>[http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/family/trendsContraceptiveUse2015Report.pdf Trends in Contraceptive Use 2015]</ref> Meanwhile, the usage of birth control pills by South Korean was very low, with estimates ranging between 2%<ref>[http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/family/trendsContraceptiveUse2015Report.pdf Trends in Contraceptive Use 2015]</ref> and 2.8%.<ref>[http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20120607000915 Korean Herald])</ref> Many men and women also underwent the forced sterilization programs of the 1970s and 1980s.<ref>[https://thegrandnarrative.com/2012/02/16/korean-family-planning/ Learning From Korean Family Planning Advertisements of the 1960s-1980s]</ref>
  
 
===What to Get & Where to Get It=== <!--T:11-->
 
===What to Get & Where to Get It=== <!--T:11-->
  
 
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* In Korean, '''birth control pills''' are 피임약 (pronounced "pi-im yak"), and they can be purchased in pharmacies. The most popular brand in South Korea is Mercilon (머시론), which is produced by Merck (an American pharmaceutical company). However, there are many other pill options, including Alesse, Diane-35, Meliane, Minivlar, Minulet, Myvlar, Sexcon, Triquilar, Yasmin and Yaz.<ref name="ippf_southkorea">[http://contraceptive.ippf.org/search?search.searchtext=&search.component=&search.countrycode=KR IPPF South Korea]</ref> There's also 에이리스, which is a low hormone option, costs about 10,000 won for a 21-pill pack. Another brand is  멜리안정 (me-li-an-jung), but some users have reported loss of sex drive. There's also 센스리베.
 
* You can purchase '''condoms''' in convenience stores, pharmacies, Olive Young, Watson's, and sometimes in subway vending machines.
 
* You can purchase '''condoms''' in convenience stores, pharmacies, Olive Young, Watson's, and sometimes in subway vending machines.
* In Korean, '''birth control pills''' are 피임약 (pronounced "pi-im yak"), and they can be purchased in pharmacies. You can just walk into a pharmacy and ask for birth control pills, which are sold over-the-counter (no prescription required).
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* You can get the '''Nuvaring''' in South Korea, but only at large pharmacies and they need to order it one day in advance because it is a rare request. It is not kept in stock. It considered only for young women, so a pharmacy near a university is a good option. One pharmacy that can definitely get it it is the one located next door to Miz Medi hospital on Dogok-ro in Daechi-dong, half way between the Hanti and Daechi stops. Please note that NuvaRing is NOT covered by the Korean national insurance, unlike other birth controls. Nuvaring will be discontinued in June, 2018.
* If you want a prescription for birth control pills, or if you require a contraceptive that requires a prescription, you can go to a women’s hospital (여성의원). You can visit the [https://expatguidekorea.com/k:women%2527s+hospital Expat Guide Korea website for Women's Hospital] options. If you don't speak Korean, you may want to visit an international hospital or clinic, which will have staff that speak different languages.<ref name="koreahealth_bc">[https://www.koreahealthpages.com/article/birth-control-and-the-morning-after-pill-in-south-korea.html Birth Control and The Morning After Pill in South Korea]</ref>
 
* The most popular birth control pill brand in South Korea is Mercilon (머시론), which is produced by Merck (an American pharmaceutical company). However, there are many other pill options, including Alesse, Diane-35, Meliane, Minivlar, Minulet, Myvlar, Sexcon, Triquilar, Yasmin and Yaz.<ref>[http://contraceptive.ippf.org/search?search.searchtext=&search.component=&search.countrycode=KR IPPF South Korea]</ref> There's also 에이리스, which is a low hormone option, costs about 10,000 won for a 21-pill pack. Another brand is  멜리안정 (me-li-an-jung), but some users have reported loss of sex drive. There's also 센스리베.
 
* It appears that you can get the '''Nuvaring''' in South Korea, but we don't have much information on this (anyone?).
 
* You can get an '''intra-uterine device (IUD)''' in South Korea. In Korean, it is 자궁 내 장치. There are multiple options available, including copper, hormonal (Mirena), and Skyla.<ref name="bciud_sk_expatguide">[https://www.expatguidekorea.com/article/birth-control-contraception-and-mirena-iud-insertion-in-korea.html Birth Control, Contraception and Mirena IUD insertion in Korea]</ref>
 
 
* If you want the '''contraceptive patch''', Evra (produced by Janssen-Cilag) should be available in South Korea.<ref name="ippf_southkorea" />
 
* If you want the '''contraceptive patch''', Evra (produced by Janssen-Cilag) should be available in South Korea.<ref name="ippf_southkorea" />
 
* If you want the '''contraceptive implant''', Implanon (produced by Merck) should be available in South Korea.<ref name="ippf_southkorea" />
 
* If you want the '''contraceptive implant''', Implanon (produced by Merck) should be available in South Korea.<ref name="ippf_southkorea" />
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* The cost of '''birth control pills''' depends on where you buy the pills and which brands you purchase.
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Birth control pills are 6-8,000 won for one month’s supply.
** If you go directly to a pharmacy, you can expect to pay 7,500-9,500 won for pills available over-the-counter (prices from April 2020).<ref>[https://koreahealthpages.com/article/how-to-get-over-the-counter-birth-control-pills-in-south-korea.html How to Get Over-The-Counter Contraception Pills in South Korea]</ref>
 
** If you get birth control pills prescribed by a doctor, you can expect to pay 25,000-33,000 won for a prescription pack (prices from April 2020).<ref name="koreahealth_bc" /> <ref name="jivaka_bc_sk">[https://www.jivaka.care/cost-birth-control-pills-korea/#Multiwhat_Understanding_the_Difference_between_Birth_Control_Pills Cost of Birth Control Pills in Korea: Country Comparison]</ref>
 
** Birth control pill brands like Myvolar, Myvlar, and Microgestin are cheaper. Yaz is more expensive.<ref name="jivaka_bc_sk" />
 
* The cost of an '''IUD''' ranges from 70,000 won to 400,000 won (as of July 2018). The payment is usually not covered by Korean health insurance.<ref>[https://www.expatguidekorea.com/article/birth-control-contraception-and-mirena-iud-insertion-in-korea.html Birth Control, Contraception and Mirena IUD insertion in Korea]</ref> One person reported receiving a quote of 150,000 won for non-hormonal copper IUD and 350,000 won for Mirena (a hormonal IUD) in 2020.<ref>[https://www.expatkidskorea.com/article/getting-an-iud-in-korea.html Getting an IUD in Korea]</ref>
 
  
 
==Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)== <!--T:18-->
 
==Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)== <!--T:18-->
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For dedicated EC that is anti-progestin, there's ellaOne (take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex). For dedicated EC that is progestin only, there's After1, Norlevo One and Postinor 1 (take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex). There's also Levonia, Levonormin, MS Pill and Sexcon One&One (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). If you absolutely cannot secure emergency contraceptives, you can use some oral contraceptives as EC instead. In Korea, there's Minivlar or Sexcon (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later) or Alesse (take 5 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 5 more pills 12 hours later).<ref>[http://ec.princeton.edu/worldwide/ Princeton Emergency Contraception Website]</ref>
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For dedicated EC that is anti-progestin, there's ellaOne (take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex). For dedicated EC that is progestin only, there's After1, Norlevo One and Postinor 1 (take 1 pill within 120 hours after unprotected sex). There's also Levonia, Levonormin, MS Pill and Sexcon One&One (take 2 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex). If you absolutely cannot secure emergency contraceptives, you can use some oral contraceptives as EC instead. In Korea, there's Minivlar or Sexcon (take 4 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 4 more pills 12 hours later) or Alesse (take 5 pills within 120 hours after unprotected sex and take 5 more pills 12 hours later).<ref>[http://ec.princeton.edu/worldwide/ Princeton Emergency Contraception Website</ref>
  
 
===Costs=== <!--T:26-->
 
===Costs=== <!--T:26-->
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As of 2021, abortion has been decriminalized in South Korea.<ref>[https://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/south-korea-abortion-decriminalized-since-january-1-2021/ South Korea: Abortion Decriminalized since January 1, 2021]</ref>
 
 
Old info:
 
 
In April 2019, the Constitutional Court in South Korea ruled that the current abortion laws are unconstitutional. This is a victory for pro-choice activists in South Korea, as well as the majority of South Korean women who support liberalization of the laws. So, what's next? Lawmakers will need to develop new abortion laws by 2020 --and, if they don't, the current law will become null and void. We will update this page as changes develop. However, as of April 2019, the current laws are still in place.<ref>[https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/11/world/asia/south-korea-abortion-ban-ruling.html South Korea Rules Anti-Abortion Law Unconstitutional]</ref>''
 
 
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Abortion is illegal in South Korea, except in special cases. While the original law in 1953 restricted all abortion, this was changed in 1973 under the Maternal and Child Health Law. With these changes, an abortion could be performed by a physician if 1) the pregnant woman or her spouse suffer from a hereditary mental/physical disease specified by Presidential Decree 2) the pregnant woman or her spouse suffer from a communicable disease specified by Presidential Decree 3) the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest 4) the continuation of the pregnancy threatens the woman's life. In all other cases, abortion is illegal and a woman who induces her own abortion may be subject to imprisonment for one year or a fine. Medical personnel who illegally induce an abortion may face up to two years of imprisonment.  
 
Abortion is illegal in South Korea, except in special cases. While the original law in 1953 restricted all abortion, this was changed in 1973 under the Maternal and Child Health Law. With these changes, an abortion could be performed by a physician if 1) the pregnant woman or her spouse suffer from a hereditary mental/physical disease specified by Presidential Decree 2) the pregnant woman or her spouse suffer from a communicable disease specified by Presidential Decree 3) the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest 4) the continuation of the pregnancy threatens the woman's life. In all other cases, abortion is illegal and a woman who induces her own abortion may be subject to imprisonment for one year or a fine. Medical personnel who illegally induce an abortion may face up to two years of imprisonment.  
  

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