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[Letters] Outlawing abortion the wrong answer to the wrong question

Nov 24,2009
According to your article “Birthrate crisis forces tougher stand on abortion” (JoongAng Daily, Nov. 16, 2009), the Presidential Council for Future and Vision will announce on Nov. 25 “a much tougher line on abortions” as part of a series of measures to fight against the low birth rate.

I fully understand the political motivations, but such a mistake would have little to do with a vision for the future. Because this would be the worst answer to the wrong question: The question was not “how to maintain and enforce passe laws” but “what can Korea do in order to make parenthood sound like something other than a curse?”

The main reasons for the decrease in birth rate in Korea are well-known and documented: would-be parents are simply dissuaded from having and raising a child. You want to ruin your career? Have a kid! You want to spend the next 20 years facing the scariest education system on earth? Have a kid! You want to go broke? Have a kid!

Ignoring the obvious, some hardliners want the already very conservative Korean law on abortion to be tightened and mercilessly implemented. Instead of tolerance, respect and understanding, they advocate punishment, fear and the usual tragedies traditionally associated with backward countries (health hazards, exile, exclusion, despair, death, abuses). Furthermore, a climate of war and oppression is the best guarantee for low birth rates.

Instead of fighting at the root of the problem and correcting the wrongs, will Korea decide to worsen them?

Stephane Mot, Seoul



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