SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Korea Bizwire) – More than 200,000 signatures have been collected for a petition filed on the official website of the Blue House to end the criminalization of abortion in South Korea.
The online petition calling to put an end to the country’s criminalization of abortion has gathered strong support, becoming the second petition to date to attract over 200,000 signatures following a petition for juvenile law reform.
The petition to end criminal abortion was first filed last month on the official website of Cheong Wa Dae, also known as the Blue House, with the number of signatures surpassing 208,000 as of Sunday afternoon.
The petitioner behind the online anti-criminal abortion petition says that unwanted births are a tragedy not only to mothers, but both children and the country.
“Under the current law, I’m aware that only women are being punished (for abortion) and it is unfair to ask women to claim ‘sole responsibility’,” the petitioner said.
“In 119 countries, abortion pills like Mifegyne are legalized. I’m calling for the end of the criminalization of abortion and the introduction of abortion pills,” the petitioner wrote.
With the petition ending today, the overwhelming support is expected to result in a comment from the Blue House, as it has been previously stated that petitions attracting over 200,000 signatures within 30 days will receive an official response from chief government officials.
The petition calling for juvenile law reform that gathered over 200,000 signatures prompted senior presidential secretary for civil affairs Cho Kuk to issue an official statement in response to the call, in which Cho said juvenile law reform is a complex issue and that it will be difficult to solve.
According to South Korea’s current abortion laws, women who receive an abortion and doctors who perform the procedure can both be punished, with the use of abortion pills subject to up to one year in prison or a fine of up to two million won.
Doctors who perform abortions can also face jail time of up to two years, while exceptions are granted to mothers with special medical conditions and genetic disorders leaving them or their infant particularly vulnerable to poor health, as well as victims of rape.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)