Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NYT on the new movement against abortion in South Korea

Abortion and prostitution are two of those gray areas where the
pragmatism of the authorities -- who know such things exist so they
allow them to continue with a high degree of regulation for something
nominally against the law -- meets the reality of Korean politics --
where an open discussion of such a potentially divisive subject would
lead to such rancor that little meaningful debate would be possible,
and there would be a danger that the politicos would tearfully fall in
line with the demands of the loudest voice(s), upending the status quo
and making the situation worse.

THAT, I would say is the primary reason abortion has not been
discussed, even as the comfortable status quo became considerably
uncomfortable: abortion became a primary form of birth control for
perhaps millions who have not been taught how to say no during a time
when premarital sex is increasingly normative, or how to use something
other than condoms when they choose to say yes; and the general
illegality of abortion meant a lack of proper equipment and training
at clinics that perform these "operations" even dozens of times a
week, which put the women seeking them at risk.

Now the government sees the contribution of de facto legal abortion to
the country's dangerously low birth rate, and so we are seeing a
correction of sorts.

This kind of thing is the topic of an article by Chie Sanghun in the

I'll have more thoughts on this later, when I don't have to type out a
whole post with my index finger.

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