Vatican News staff reporter
Two years after the ruling of South Korea’s Constitutional Court on the decriminalization of abortion, the Committee of pro-life bishops has issued a statement in which it "strongly urges the protection of unborn children.”
They add that “millions of fetuses, every year, are exposed to the threat of abortion, without any protection."
Life is sacred
The bishops note that decriminalizing the voluntary interruption of pregnancy means "publicly recognizing murder" and contributes to spreading "the tendency to neglect life.”
They strongly emphasize that "life is sacred" and therefore "should be respected and protected from conception, in the name of human dignity."
Reaffirming the position of the Church in favour of the protection of life at every stage, the Catholic parishes of South Korea will soon celebrate a Mass for life and the family, while May will be the "Month of the family," during which the priority mission will be to "create a culture that values life and human dignity.”
This new intervention by the bishops comes after they strongly opposed the legalization of abortion in August 2020. On August 20 of last year, a Catholic delegation led by Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, met with President Moon Jae-in to express their concerns about the legalization of this practice.
In an open letter to the Head of State, the bishops had asked at least that a woman who intends to have an abortion receive psychological, physical, and mental counseling on the consequences of such an act, before making her decision.
The abortion debate in South Korea began on April 11, 2019, when the Constitutional Court ruled that the criminalization of abortion, dating back to 1953, was illegal and ordered the government to end its ban on the practice by 2020.
In October of last year, Parliament announced a bill to decriminalize abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy and to allow it between the 14th and 24th week in cases of rape.
In January 2021, the government approved the necessary legislative measures to declare the criminalization of abortion unconstitutional and repeal the 1953 law.