04/16/2019, 00.00
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Seoul, Card Yeom on abortion: Reject temptations and culture of death

The Constitutional Court ruled that an absolute ban is contrary to the Charter and called for a legislative amendment. In his Easter message the Archbishop of Seoul expresses fears for the consequences on the social fabric of the country. "A nation has the responsibility to protect the life and safety of its people under all circumstances."

Seoul (AsiaNews) - Despite various obstacles and social difficulties, Christians must rigorously reject the culture of death and the temptations inherent in it, says Card. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung (photo).

The Archbishop of Seoul was commenting on the latest ruling on abortion by the Constitutional Court on April 11, which states that an absolute ban is contrary to the Charter. The ruling also called for a legislative amendment that partly allows the legalization of the practice, in the early stage of pregnancy.

In his Easter message, Card. Yeom reaffirms Catholic doctrine in defense of life and expresses fears for the consequences that the sentence can have on the social fabric of the country.

In his letter, which will be read in all the parishes of the archdiocese during the Easter vigil, Card. Yeom, first of all, expressed his concerns while saying, “I’m worried that the recent decision on constitutionality of abortion ban by the Constitutional Court, by any chance, brings overall atmosphere to neglect life in Korean society.” The archbishop points out: "A nation has a responsibility to protect its people’s life and safety under any circumstances. Every life, from the moment of conception, should be protected as a human being and secured with its dignity.”

The prelate urges the legislators to carefully prepare the amendment to the current law; invites the faithful to be the first to choose life rather than death, adding, “We, people of God, should concretely serve and sacrifice for life. Among various social obstacles and difficulties, we, Christians, should strictly refuse the culture and temptation for the death.” The cardinal concludes “When we, ourselves, start choosing, respecting, and respecting every life as it is, we will definitely be able to experience the Risen Lord living right here with us.”".

In recent days, the debate on abortion has returned to divide South Korean public opinion. Some feminist and medical organizations have welcomed the decision of the Constitutional Court. They argue that the current law limits women's self-determination rights. Religious communities express disappointment and regret over the verdict, stating that it violates the right to life of unborn children.

The pro-life movement challenges some of the reasons for the Court's ruling. Among these, there is one which states: "Embryos completely depend on the mother’s body for their survival and development, so it cannot be concluded that they are separate, independent living beings entitled to the right to life.”

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