SEOUL, Nov. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Korean Catholics ratcheted up their campaign against abortion over the weekend, as a public petition to decriminalize the practice gains momentum under the liberal government.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference decided during a meeting at the weekend to issue a statement opposing the repeal of the crime of abortion. A national laity association has recently sent a letter outlining the case against abortion to 79 Catholic lawmakers.
The Committee For Life in the Seoul Archdiocese, chaired by Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, posted a pro-life petition on the website of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Nov. 14.
The moves came as the presidential office is set to respond to a petition to legalize abortion posted on its web site on Sept. 30. More than 200,000 people have signed the request, obligating Cheong Wa Dae to make an official response.
“Human life should be categorically respected from the first moment. It precedes the right to liberty and the right to decide as an independent individual, not as part of a woman’s body, from the very moment when it is conceived,” the Committee For Life said in its petition.
Cardinal Yeom told a life forum at the National Assembly early this month, “Some argue abortion is a woman’s right and is an unavoidable choice for women’s health. The claim represents a selfishness that clamps down on other’s life for the sake of one’s rights and health.”
The pro-abortion petition to Cheong Wa Dae said, “Unwanted pregnancies are a tragedy all to those directly concerned, to the babies and to the state, and thus the current abortion law should be scrapped.”
In a recent survey of 516 people, conducted by local pollster Realmeter, 51.9 percent of the respondents were for the abolition of the law and 36.2 percent were against it.