11/17/2009, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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To stop abortion, we must change society, Korean Church says

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
The Committee for Bioethics issues a statement in support of doctors who oppose abortion, warning it could be the “last chance to stop the slaughter”. More than 350,000 abortions are performed every year in South Korea.
Seoul (AsiaNews) – The Committee for Bioethics of the Catholic Bishop’ Conference of Korea issued a statement in support of an anti-abortion campaign launched by a group of courageous doctors who are opposed to such practice. Mgr Gabriel Chang Bong-hun, bishop of Cheongju, chairs the Committee. The statement calls on the population to participate in the efforts to stop one of the worst curses of our time. “We hope that their decision will provide our society an opportunity to build a culture of life and overcome a trend that makes light of human life,” it said.

Concern about such indifference is especially important in relation to illegal abortion, a practice that affects all social groups in society (but is especially high in rural communities). Under the current law, sex-selection abortions are illegal, but tradition calls for a first-born male. This is why many couples resort to an illegal abortion of healthy female fetuses.

According to the latest government figures, the number of abortions ranged between 342,000 and 440,000 cases in 2005.  A Christian NGO said that this year the number of abortions stood at 380,000.

In order to stop the slaughter, the Committee for Bioethics wants the government to protect the lives of its citizens. All laws that facilitate abortions should be repealed. The government should also help doctors who oppose abortion and care for unborn children rather than act against their conscience.

However, all this will come to naught if there is no change in mindset in society.  For this reason, “academic circles should cultivate a pro-life consciousness in the young generation”.  

This is an important and perhaps unique opportunity “to bring the family back to the centre of things and eliminate the reality of abortion.”

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