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South Korea Court Says Abortion Ban From 1953 Unconstitutional

  • Court demands law criminalizing abortion be revised by 2020
  • South Korea one of the few developed countries with ban
Protesters hold a rally outside the constitutional court in Seoul on April 11.
Protesters hold a rally outside the constitutional court in Seoul on April 11.Photographer: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images
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South Korea’s Constitutional Court issued a landmark ruling that rejected a law from seven decades ago calling for prison for women who get an abortion and doctors who perform the procedure.

The court, with two of nines judges dissenting, said “criminalizing” abortions was unconstitutional and that an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy “should be allowed.” It called on parliament by 2020 to revise the law, which reproductive rights groups said was out of step with the developed world and draconian.