Legal Abortion Period to Be Shortened

      July 01, 2009 10:45

      The legal period for abortions will be shortened from 28 weeks of pregnancy to 24 starting July 8.

      And pregnant women will no longer be able to get an abortion simply because they have infectious diseases such as AIDS, rubella, chicken pox, or hepatitis, or suffer from hereditary diseases such as liver trouble, mental diseases, hemophilia, and epilepsy.

      The changes are included in a revision to the enforcement ordinance of the Mother and Child Health Act. The bill was endorsed by the government in a Cabinet meeting Tuesday.

      Lee Won-hee, a director at the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, said, "We decided to shorten the legal deadline for abortion to respect the lives of fetuses. The legal deadline in most other countries is shorter than in Korea, being 24 weeks in the U.K., 22 in Japan and 12 in Germany."

      Some diseases will no longer warrant an abortion if there are insufficient medical arguments about the chances of the disease being transmitted to the fetus, or if they could be cured even if fetuses are infected.

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