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2014-02-19

ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - "Forty days for life": Church reinforces its commitment against abortion

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - For the Church in Korea the months of February and March are full of activities, celebrations, meetings for life.
As reported to Fides, in particular the "Committee for Life and Bioethics" within the Bishops Conference is encouraging many pro-life activities. "Forty Days of Prayer for Life" starts on Ash Wednesday, March 5. All the Churches will pray, in particular for the abolition of the "Law on the mother and child’s health" which in 1973 legalized abortion.
In addition, in past days the Bishops held a solemn "Mass for Life" in Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul, presided over by Mgr. Linus Lee Seong-hyo, President of the "Committee for Life and Bioethics", and concelebrated by the heads of pro-Life Activities of every diocese in Korea. The Mass was attended by over 1,300 faithful who reiterated their commitment to spread throughout society a "culture of life", which starts with the recognition and promotion of the right of the embryo and of the unborn child. Mgr. Lee pointed out how materialism and consumerism have led young people to practice contraception and abortion without any difficulty. This is why we need to multiply efforts to teach young people to understand the dignity of life and the deeper meaning of sexual relationship.
The "Law on the mother and child’s health", article 14, allows abortion in three situations: when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest; if the fetus has congenital or genetic defects; and when the mother's health is at risk. A review of the legislation, in July 2009, reduced the legal limit within which one can abort from the 28th to 24th week of pregnancy. In Korea, out of a population of about 48.7 million people, the government records about 340,000 abortions a year. According to the Catholic Church, however, the real number is much higher ie about 1.5 million. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/02/2014)

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