A group of local pharmacists urged the government to allow legitimate sales of the morning-after pill Mifegyne. The emergency contraception pill is not available in Korea because the local law bans abortion.
The Korean Pharmacists for Democratic Society (KPDS) on Thursday released an article online, claiming that the proportion of women who decide to get an abortion remains unchanged regardless of the legality of abortion. They said that the authorities should prioritize health and human rights of women.
“Putting legal limits on abortion increases risky abortion attempts and consequently hurts women’s health,” the KPDS said.
When it comes to the abortion issue, people should always be aware that women’s health and human rights should come first, the group noted. “The World Health Organization recommends that Korea allows abortion to protect women's health and that the nation should revise the law that criminalizes and punishes women for abortion,” it said.
The KPDS went on to say that the government should approve Mifegyne, “because its efficacy and safety have been confirmed.”
According to the KPDS, Mifegyne’s success rate in abortion was up to 98 percent. “The abortion pill was safer in women with pregnancy less than seven weeks, and its safety has been proven until week nine,” the group said. “According to the WHO data, about 26 million women in the world used the pill for abortion as of 2005. In Finland, 84 percent of women who discontinued pregnancy took Mifegyne as of 2009.”
The pharmacists’ group added it hoped that discussion for the introduction of Mifegyne would not be a “lame debate about whether the fetus’ rights to life will be thrown away more easily and more recklessly.”
“Women who have chosen or will choose abortion have given enough thought on the issue and suffered enough. The time has come for us to accept a safer and more effective method,” it said.