"Rift among doctors widens S.Korea abortion divide - Thu, Feb 18, 2010 Reuters
SEOUL- South Korea has for decades largely ignored its ban on abortions. That may change after a group of doctors this month took it upon themselves to start naming clinics performing the operation.
For almost as long as South Korea has existed, abortion has been illegal except in cases where the pregnancy puts the mother's health in danger or is the result of rape or incest.
'I have become a pariah,' said Dr Shim Sang-duk, a gynaecologist and member of Pro-Life Doctors which is leading the campaign.
'But, we may have to do this again if the government is not willing to change,' he said."
A very interesting situation as I read more about the development of this issue of: 'turning a blind eye to 'illegal' abortion' in South Korea.
It seems that it has almost abortion that numbered almost 80% of its legal birth number in recently year! That is astonishingly high!! Most favoured reasons for abortion are the high cost of raising a child and the stigma of being a single parent!
While there is a divergence emerging, both sides, including the doctors and scholars, all believed that inadequate sex education is the main cause! Not all of them said abortion is the way to go or the 'keep the baby at all cost' is the right way to go too.
Lessons for me are:
1. in some society, the laws are written in certain way but the enforcement is not followed. As a result, the non-enforcement is the cue for people to ignore the laws. This happened in many East Asian countries actually. It means for the authority, it must enforce its laws!;
2. high cost of raising a child and lack of support for single parent are real issues voiced by the real people. The high cost is impartial. How much should the government help in raising a child if it wants the nation's population to be maintained or grow? This is the key question to answer. I think Singapore government is facing the same challenge and it is not ready to pay for this high cost yet. That explained why the many so-called generous 'pro-family pro-child incentives' are not working! As for supporting the single parent, I think this is easier to achieve as long as the number is not overwhelming!;
3. the voices from pro-life and pro-choice camps showed that there are common denominators to work on to solve the challenge that can satisfy both camps. i.e. prevent unwanted or unplanned pregnancies! Resolved it at the source. Go for 'no sex till wedding night' if you like. Go for 'contraceptive usage' if you like. The goal is to prevent such pregnancies. As for the moral argument, that is something else. If it is not under-age sexual activities, but by consenting adults, everyone can just relax a bit. People have to take responsibility for their actions.
What is happening in South Korea will happen in Singapore - just a matter of degree. I wonder how would the authority deal with it. It will also be interesting to see how Singaporeans deal with it!!