Wrestling with a chronically low birth rate, the government has begun to tighten its control on illegal abortions. A set of initiatives includes better services for pregnant women and tougher crackdowns on offenders, particularly doctors. A 38-year-old obstetrician recently closed her clinic in Seoul due to snowballing debts. Her consistent refusal to conduct illegal abortions for the past two years was mainly responsible for the closure, she explained.
When she opened the clinic in 2007, she didn't expect her no-abortion policy to affect the bottom line as much as it did.
"Frankly, abortions are very profitable," she said. "Doctors can earn hundreds of dollars, mostly in cash, in one or two hours by conducting an illegal abortion, while other, legal treatments for pregnant women take longer, but are less profitable. That's why many obstetricians running private clinics conduct the illegal act despite the risk of being punished."
According to a study by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2005, a total of 342,433 abortions were conducted nationwide, while 435,031 babies were born in the same year.
But activists call these numbers the tip of the iceberg, estimating that the actual number is around 1.5 to 2 million each year. Despite the penalties, another study in 2005 found that nearly 80 percent of clinics here conducted abortions illegally.
"Abortions are a great temptation to profit-conscious doctors," said Choi Ahn-na, a spokesperson for a group of obstetricians against abortion. "This is apparently an act against morality as a medical doctor but that's the reality."
More than 680 members of Choi's group recently joined the campaign, stressing doctors' original duty of protecting human life and their desire to help Korea move away from what they called its long-standing stigma as a "paradise of abortions."
Again, this is from Dec. 2, 2009. We now know that recently clinics have raised their prices from 300,000 Won ($300 dollars approx.) to 1,000,000 won ($1,000 dollars approx.) and some large hospital are charging "legal coverage" for THE PROCEDURE at 2,000,000 WON!
The Korean War Baby wonders where is the government's collective MIND? Why do they allow such "scalping"?
It is not fully understood how this medicine prevents pregnancy. It is thought to work by preventing ovulation and fertilisation and also by altering the lining of the womb, depending on which stage of the menstrual cycle the woman is at. Levonorgestrel is also thought to alter the lining of the womb, preventing it from being prepared for a fertilised egg. This means that if an egg is released from the ovaries and is fertilised, it cannot implant into the womb and therefore pregnancy is avoided.
The whole process from fertilisation to implantation in the womb can take up to three days, so the morning after pill can only stop a pregnancy for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. The sooner it is taken after unprotected sex, the more effective it will be."
Click to enlarge
What Are the Kinds of In-Clinic Abortion?
The Korean War Baby predicted last year Dec. 21 gender-imbalance-to-reach-crisis-point