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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Latest revision as of 19:33, 16 December 2020
UPDATE (April 2019): 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.