Abortion pills in South Korea
Abortion pills in South Korea are the name used for two drugs used to prevent pregnancy: mifepristone and misoprostol. First, you take a pill called mifepristone. Pregnancy requires a hormone called progesterone to grow naturally. Mifepristone blocks your body’s progesterone, preventing pregnancy from growing.
Abortion is highly restricted in South Korea and is criminalized under articles 269 and 270 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Korea (originally published in 1953). The Maternal and Child Health law passed in 1973, provides the following permissible exceptions for terminating a pregnancy:
- The woman or her spouse has eugenic or genetic mental and physical disabilities/diseases as prescribed by the Presidential Decree.
- The woman or her spouse has infectious diseases as prescribed by the Presidential Decree.
- The pregnancy is a result of rape/quasi rape
- The pregnancy is a result of incest (consanguinity or affinity), whereas the female and the partner cannot marry legally.
- The continuation of pregnancy is injurious to the health of the female.
On 11 April 2019, South Korea’s six-decade ban on abortion was declared unconstitutional. The court ordered the decriminalization of abortion and a revision of the current abortion laws by 31 December 2020. The current law (which bans abortion) is still valid until a new one can take effect.
- Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA)
Who can perform abortions in South Korea?
Trained healthcare providers can perform abortions, and many do so unofficially.
Both public and private health care institutes, specifically ob-gyn clinics, offer abortions on an unofficial basis.
What is the cost of abortion services in South Korea?
The cost is usually between $600 – $700.
How to get a safe abortion?
To get a safe abortion the first trimester which is the first 3 months is the safest time because at this time drugs can be used for getting an abortion done and these drugs generally do not have side effects. Vacuum aspiration procedures can also be used which are also safe. After the first trimester, it is tough to get a safe abortion and one should not go if it unless there is an emergency
Can I buy abortion pills from pharmacies in South Korea?
Misoprostol and mifepristone are not available for purchase from pharmacies.
How late can you have an abortion?
The time for the abortion mostly is the first 3 months of pregnancy and it is the safest time. In rare cases, abortion is done in the second trimester that is in the 4-6 months of pregnancy. But In the third trimester, abortion is rarely done as it is not safe and is only done at the time of emergency or life-threatening reasons. Therefore, one must opt for earlier options as it is safe and cheaper.
Side effects are more common with oral than with vaginal dosing. Side effects tend to
be mild but can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fevers, and chills. Serious
complications such as infection or heavy bleeding are rare and occur in less than 1% of
women. If bleeding is heavy or the pain is severe, but you may need to come to the ER to have
a D and C performed.