Annual Review 2016: Human Rights Situation of LGBTI in South Korea

15. Sexual and Reproductive Rights

updated 2017.08.09 11:52 by sogilaw

Forum on sex and reproduction from the perspective of the minority movement

The “Discussing Sex and Reproduction from the Perspective of the Minority Movement” forum was co-organized by the “Sex and Reproduction Forum” and the “IL and Gender Forum” and held on August 23, 2016. At this forum, there were discussions on sex and reproduction in relation to disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, migration, illness, etc. Attorney Ryu Minhee of the Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights “Hope and Law” delivered a presentation, and other activists in the human rights field, who are part of the women with disabilities, LGBTI, HIV/AIDS, transgender, teenage sexuality rights, and migrant women movements took part as panelists to discuss sexual and reproductive rights of sexual minorities, transgender people, and HIV/AIDS patients.[1]

Movement against strengthened regulations for medical personnel who provide abortion and for the abolishment of crime of abortion

On November 11, 2016, the Ministry of Health and Welfare pre-announced the legislation of the partial amendment bill of the “Regulations on Administrative Measures for Medical Relations”. This would subdivide “immoral medical treatment” into multiple categories and strengthen administrative measures. The bill specifically included as a type of “immoral medical treatment” abortion not falling under Article 14(1) “Limited Permission for Induced Abortion Operations” of the Mother and Child Health Act, and increased the punishment for abortion from one month to twelve months of license suspension for medical doctors.

In response, more than 70 organizations, including the “Sex and Reproduction Forum” and Rainbow Action Against Sexual Minority Discrimination, demanded the withdrawal of the revised bill and abolishment of the crime of abortion. Also, they carried out the “Black Protest for the Abolishment of the Crime of Abortion” and social media hashtag movement, and the women’s group demanding the legalization of abortion “BWAVE” heavily criticized the bill. Accordingly, the Ministry of Health and Welfare decided to maintain the current length of license suspension.[2]

[1] “Discussing Sex and Reproduction from the Perspective of the Minority Movement”, BeMinor, 10/10/2016
[2] “Demands for the repeal of the crime of abortion in the Criminal Act, ’Abortion in Korea is not a choice, but an emergency exit’”, The Kyunghyang Shinmun, 10/17/2016; “Plans to strengthen punishment for abortion cancelled…Women demand ‘abolishment of the crime of abortion’”, Women’s News, 11/16/2016