Abortion in Korea

  • Frank Tedesco

Abstract

This study is a first exploration of the subject of abortion and Buddhism in contemporary South Korea.1 Abortion in Korea has been studied as a factor in family planning policy and population control,2 as a legal matter3 and as an issue of sexuality and gender,4 but minimal attention has been given to the religious perspective and almost none to Buddhism, despite the fact that Buddhists form the majority of the religious population in the country.5

Keywords

Migration Manifold Income Assure Expense 

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Such as, for instance, very recently in the seminar proceedings of the Planned Parent Federation of Korea (Seoul: Ministry of Health and Welfare, 1995), ‘Seminar on the Development of Strategy for the Prevention of Induced Abortion’, and Cho, Nam-Hoon (1993), Demographic Transition: Changes in Determinants of Fertility Decline in the Republic of Korea, Tokyo: Department of Demography and Health Statistics, Institute of Public Health, Japan.Google Scholar
  2. See Part IX Bibliography of Hong and Watson, The Increasing Utilization of Induced Abortion in Korea (Seoul: Korea University Press, 1976) 1161–162.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shim, Young Hee (Shim Yǒng-hǔi) et al., An Empirical Study on Abortion in Korea: Focusing on the Extent and Attitude (Seoul: Korean Institute of Criminology 90-08, 1991)Google Scholar
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  5. 11.
    Frank Tedesco: The Korea Times, (Seoul) ‘Crisis in Korean Buddhism,’ Tuesday April 5, 1994, 1; ‘The Buddhist Struggle Continues’ 6, Saturday April 9, 1994.Google Scholar
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  7. 13.
    Shim, Jae-ryong, ‘Buddhist Responses to Modern Transformation of Society in Korea,’ in Korea Journal (Seoul) 33:3 (Autumn, 1993) 54–55.Google Scholar
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  12. 24.
    Mark Peterson, ‘Women without Sons: A Measure of Social Change in Yi Dynasty Korea’ in Korean Women: View from the Inner Room (New Haven: East Rock Press, 1983) 33–44.Google Scholar
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    See the interesting discussion of ‘population stagnation’ in Japan in the late Edo period in William LaFleur, Liquid Life, (Princeton, 1992) especially Chapters 5–7.Google Scholar
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    Nam-Hoon Cho, Demographic Transition: Changes in the Determinants of Fertility Decline in the Republic of Korea (Tokyo: Institute of Public Health, 1993) 2–3.Google Scholar
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    Shim, Young Hee et al., An Empirical Study on Abortion in Korea: Focusing on the Extent and Attitude (Seoul: Korean Institute of Criminology 90-08, 1991), 241–242.Google Scholar
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    Sung-bong Hong and Walter B. Watson, The Increasing Use of Induced Abortion in Korea. (Seoul: Korean Institute of Family Planning/Korea University Press, 1976), ‘Buddhists are more likely to have abortions than Christians, and Christians more likely than the two thirds of Korean women who profess no religion. Among Christians, Catholics are a little more likely to have abortions than Protestants, but sample size is small.Google Scholar
  23. 52.
    The earliest Korean publication we are aware of to address abortion from the viewpoints of Korean Buddhist belief is Venerable Sǒk Myogak’s Aga-ya, yongsǒhaedao, ‘My Dear Baby! Please Forgive Me!’ (Seoul: Ch’angusa, 1985).Google Scholar
  24. 54.
    Nakaoka Toshiya, Mizuko rei no himitsu, (Tokyo: Hutami Shobo, 1980).Google Scholar
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  27. 62.
    See Han Pogwang, ‘Pulgyogyǒngjon-ae nat’anan nak t’ae munjae’ (The Abortion Problem as it appears in the Buddhist Canon’) in Tabo (Seoul) 1992: 4, 32–39.Google Scholar
  28. 63.
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  29. 66.
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  30. 69.
    Hyǒnjang sǔnim, ‘Sujaryǒng ch’ǒndo-e taehaesǒ’ (‘On the auspicious rebirth of spirits of water-children’) in Yǒsǒng Pulgyo, (Seoul: Tosǒnsa Women’s Buddhist Association, 2539 BE: 7, July, 1995 No.194, 18.Google Scholar
  31. 70.
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  32. 71.
    Kim, Wan-ki, ‘A-i rǔl natgo sip’ǔn mihon ǒdiro kaya hana’ (‘A Pregnant, Single Woman Who Wants to Bear Her Baby, Where Can She Go?’) in Yosǒng Pulgyo 1995:7 No.194, 31.Google Scholar
  33. 72.
    Venerable Myogak concludes the last day of his unique ch’ǒndo ritual with the release of fish into the Han River in Seoul. For more on interesting ritual, see Holmes Welch, The Practice of Chinese Buddhism 1900–1950 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), 378–382.Google Scholar
  34. 73.
    Mok, Jeong-bae, ‘The Respect for Life Movement in Buddhism and the Auspicious Rebirth of Fetuses’ in Tabo 1992:4, 55.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited  1998

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  • Frank Tedesco

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