Review of Domestic and Foreign Legal Status and Issues of Conscientious Objection to Abortion


  • Hannah Moon Korea National Institute for Bioethics Policy


In accordance with Article 15 of the 「Medical Service Act」, medical personnel or a founder of a medical institution may not, upon receiving a request for medical treatment or assistance in childbirth, refuse to render his/her service without ‘any justifiable ground’in Korea. However, conscientious objection to abortion became a hot topic, as gynecologists who were unable to perform abortion in accordance with their religious and conscientious beliefs asked to recognize their right to veto after the Constitutional Court ruling on the punishment for abortion. It is forbidden to arbitrarily deny a medical provider a medical act. but conscientious and religious freedom of all people should be guaranteed. So it is also necessary to discuss the appropriateness of the range of conscientious objection for specific medical practices. As a based from the data, this paper summarizes the current status of the United States, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada, which guarantee the conscientious objection of medical providers to abortion in the form of medical law, special law and guidelines. And through this work, we have drawn up issues that require social consensus for domestic legalization. We hope that the discussion on conscientious objection to the realization of the rights of both the patient and the health care provider will be initiated through social consensus on these issues.