[International] No Country for Women

첨부파일이(가) 없습니다.

Bearing and bringing up a baby requires a great deal of effort and time. Fully prepared parents even face despair and sorrow for raising a crying powerless life into a mature human being. Thus, for unprepared and unfortified parents, the pregnancy and baby care will be much distressing marches. Moreover, women are mainly forced to carry out the nurture. Feminists who fight for to women’s rights noticed the imbalance regarding parenting between different sexes and set securing the right to abortion and being liberated from domestic chores as a significant aim. The latter is continuously improved through campaigns and advancing awareness; however, abortion is still arousing enraged controversy. Abortion stands for artificially removing an embryo or fetus through surgery or a medicine called ‘Mifegyne’ from a pregnant woman. The opinions sharply diverge between ‘pro-choice’ and ‘pro-life.’ Being ‘pro-choice’ signifies that you prioritize women’s valid rights to decide when and whether to have children and the possession of their body. Conversely, ‘pro-life’ people only regard the life of the embryo or fetus, as important; in turn, they neglect the lives of the women, who sustain little lives they care for.

The dispute over abortion invariably covers the whole world. In Poland, tens of thousands of women protested against the constitutional court’s unconstitutional decision to ban the aborting of a deformed fetus or embryo, which practically precludes the entire abortion. Polish women fervently spread red paint that symbolizes blood and occupied the roads during rush-hour. Meanwhile, 32 countries, including the USA, Brazil, Egypt, and Hungary, signed on the Geneva Consensus Declaration. Through signing the manifesto, the countries made a promise to protect women’s health and strengthen the family as the cornerstone of society. To them, abortion is the kernel problem that collapses the family system and menaces women’s fitness. The declaration also claims that abortion can’t be encouraged as a family planning tool in any circumstances and the international right to terminate pregnancy does not exist. The media and feminists with international networks criticize the declaration and the signed countries which overtly invade the women’s rights; at the same time, they applaud to Poland’s brave women and their protest.

Finally, in South Korea, illegal abortion is on the threshold of history. Since the Japanese colonial era, abortion has been regulated as illegal; the Japanese criminal law that punishes women in the abortion process was precisely applied to colonial Korea. Before the Constitutional Court stated that it’s in discord with the constitutional law in April 2019, the illegal abortion chastised guiltless women and conscientious doctors for a hundred years. Especially, this aberrant law is misused by the men who want to enact revenge on their previous partners or interrupt divorce proceedings. Illegal abortion exists as an excuse to control women in the name of crime and symbolizes that the country still owns the bodies of female citizens and controls the population’s productive capacity. The court reached the verdict in the consideration of the effectiveness in reality and women's rights. 

Following the court, the administration should submit the improved law by this December. What they heralded on October 7th absolutely neglected women’s voices; illegal abortion is kept as ever, and abortion in 15 to 24 weeks of pregnancy is allowed only for certain socio-economic reasons after counseling. This revised process of abortion is groundless and fraudulent. It perfectly opposes the Court that clearly stated that abortion shouldn’t be treated as illegal or ashamed. Also, it doesn’t consider the lack of infrastructure or health care in our society. Do we have sufficient, quality and nearby hospitals? Are they all ready to hospitably consult and support women? Without a definite plan, the compulsory and empty process will detain women and worsen our society. This amazing bill was proposed as the government primarily didn’t want to amend it. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s related document, the Office for Government Policy Coordination rejected an interview request from women’s community, and the Advisory Committee on Gender Equality’s opinion wasn’t reflected at all. They deceive women, other government departments, and the court. Against the deceptive notice from the government, a legislator Kwon Insook proposed a new legislation that expunges illegal abortion and expands decent medical service for pregnant women and gender education. Another legislator Park Joomin from the same party also tried to propose another preposterous law that erases illegal abortion and allows overall abortion until 24 weeks of pregnancy. It continues regulating women’s abortion and bodies like the government and hides Kwon Insook and women’s voice again; ultimately it rectifies nothing.

Some ‘pro-life’ people are of the opinion that legal abortion will instigate contempt of life and endanger women’s health by overusing it. On this topic, Susan Holland, who lectures Feminism and English at Sungshin University, said “Trust women. Trust that women know their lives and bodies and are capable of making their own medical decisions.” The administration of President Moon as well as the doctors should believe in women, too. They delude themselves that they can dominate women’s bodies and manipulate what happens there. Women’s body can’t and won’t be controlled by anyone, except ourselves.

By Kim Hyeyeong Reporter (hykim567@naver.com)

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