South Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that the country’s law criminalizing abortion is unconstitutional, as well as a law making doctors who perform them liable to criminal charges.
The move will likely lead to an easing of South Korea’s strict abortion laws, though the court said that the current statutes could remain in place until the end of the year. The nine judges gave the parliament in Seoul until the end of 2020 to come up with legislation to roll back the current restrictions.
Abortion has been against the law since 1953, with some exceptions, such as cases of rape. The Constitutional Court had previously upheld the country’s abortion regulations in a 2012 case.
While there have rarely been criminal convictions for violating the ban, the illegality has created a significant social stigma around it and made it difficult for women to obtain the relevant health information.
es/ng (AP, Reuters)