SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of surgical abortions legally carried out over the past five years is estimated to account for a mere one-tenth of all abortions conducted, indicating that a large portion of abortions take place outside of legal boundaries, a lawmaker said Tuesday.
Rep. Shin Hyun-young of the Democratic Party referred to a Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service report which showed that there were 3,056 surgical abortions covered by health insurance last year.
The number of surgeries has been shrinking, dropping from 4,161 in 2017 to 3,964 in 2018, 3,482 in 2019 and 3,258 in 2020.
In contrast, the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs conducted a survey of 8,500 women between 15 and 49 years of age late last year, which showed that there were an estimated 32,063 abortions performed each year.
In a 2017 survey, the number of abortions was estimated to reach 59,764.
The Constitutional Court ruled in April 2019 that two provisions of the Criminal Act that ban all abortion, at any stage of pregnancy, are unconstitutional as they severely violate women’s right to choose, and it gave the National Assembly until the end of end of 2020 to revise the law.
The National Assembly, however, has been making no progress in coming up with alternative legislation, placing abortion in a legislative blind spot.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)