The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea:
Against the Constitutional Court’s Decision
that the Anti-Abortion Law is Incompatible with the Constitution
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea expresses its deep regret over the recent decision made by the Constitutional Court of Korea regarding a petition to repeal the anti-abortion law. The Constitutional Court has ruled that the ban on the abortion - Criminal Acts Art. 269 §1 and Art. 270 §1 - is incompatible with the constitution.
The Constitutional Court’s decision denies the fundamental right to life of a fetus, which processes human dignity from the moment of conception but lacks the ability to defend itself. Furthermore, this decision demonstrates a strong bias against women as it imposes upon women alone the responsibility for unwanted pregnancies while exempting men from responsibility. The Catholic Church affirms her teaching that abortion is a sin because it involves the killing of an innocent life in the mother's womb. Hence such an act can never be justified.
Even though the anti-abortion law is to be either amended or repealed, the Catholic Church in Korea will, as always, exert herself to offer support and assistance to both women and men who, even in times of distress, decide to give birth to their babies and bring them up without yielding to the temptation of abortion. The Church in Korea also opens her door to women who are suffering from the physical, spiritual and emotional wounds of abortion and who desire reconciliation and healing.
On March 22, 2018, the Catholic Church in Korea submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court containing the signatures of one million Catholics voicing their opposition to the possible abolition of the anti-abortion law. The Church also appealed to the Korean government, requesting that institutions be set-up to actively support all pregnant women and educate men on their responsibilities to protect children and pregnant women.
Women and men are both equally responsibility for pregnancy and the care of children. All members of society should share in the responsibility to protect every life from the moment of conception. The Catholic Church in Korea strongly urges the legislative and executive powers of the Republic of Korea to introduce laws and institutions that encourage women and men in difficult circumstances to choose life rather than death.
April 11, 2019
+ Hyginus Kim Hee-joong
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea