South Korean Court Rules Decades-Old Abortion Ban Is Unconstitutional

The law has been in place for 66 years.
Posted at 4:04 PM, Apr 11, 2019

A South Korea court ruled the country's anti-abortion law unconstitutional, paving the way for South Korea to make abortions legal.

The decision came from the Constitutional Court of Korea Thursday. In the ruling, the court said the law is "an unconstitutional restriction that violates a pregnant woman's right to choose."

The 66-year-old law banned abortions except for in certain cases, like rape, incest or due to a life-threatening pregnancy. Physicians who perform abortions could face up to two years in prison. Women who have the procedure done could face up to one year in prison and a fine of more than $1,700.

The law was reviewed after a doctor who was convicted of performing nearly 70 abortions from 2013 to 2015 challenged the ban. 

Parliament now has until the end of 2020 to revise the law.