On August 23rd, the Supreme Court of South Korea upheld the country’s 59-year-old abortion ban.
Although the decision was reported in the mainstream media, a few important details were lacking in some of the English coverage.
First, is that the Supreme Court ruled that the right to life is the most fundamental right.
Second, the Court said that the right to bodily autonomy cannot be superior to the right to life of the fetus.
This is very good news.
The South Korean Supreme Court has legally rendered moot the most central argument in the abortion lobby’s arsenal, making them powerless to engage in future judicial activism.
While abortion is illegal in South Korea , it is allowed under certain circumstances such as in cases of rape, incest or severe birth defects.
In spite of the ban, abortion is widely practiced because the laws are not rigorously applied. The country’s demographic decline is fueling calls for a crackdown, but there is no evidence that it has substantially reduced the abortion rate.
Pro-choice activists love to underscore abortion rates of countries where it is illegal, claiming that such bans do not work.
But it’s a bogus claim. In order to show whether a ban works or not, it has to be enforced.