South Korea declares anti-abortion law as unconstitutional

Last Updated: Apr 12 2019 17:56
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On Thursday, South Korea's Constitutional Court ruled as unconstitutional a 66-year-law that made abortion a crime punishable by 2 years imprisonment, signalling a major victory for those who campaigned extensively for the abolition of the strict and controversial legislation.

A panel headed by nine judges declared the ruling in a 7-2 vote, in response to a complaint filed by an obstetrician in 2017, who is on trial for performing multiple abortion procedures.

Yonhap News Agency reported that during the ruling, the court said that the anti-abortion legislation under the criminal law is against the Constitution and directed allowing termination in the early stages of pregnancy.

The court gave the South Korean Parliament a deadline of 2020 to revise the law. If the lawmakers fail to respect the deadline, the law would become null and void.

“(The current law) limits the pregnant woman’s right to choose freely, which is against the principle that infringements on a person’s rights must be kept to a minimum,” the court said.