Seoul — South Korea’s constitutional court said on Thursday that a law criminalising abortion was unconstitutional in a  landmark ruling that will overturn a ban on abortion that had been in place since 1953. The court said in a statement the outright ban on abortion, as well as a law that made doctors who conduct abortions with the woman’s consent liable to criminal charges, were both unconstitutional. However, the court said the current law would remain in effect until the end of 2020, after which it will be scrapped. The court had previously upheld the abortion law in 2012 in a closely divided decision, dividing the eight justices evenly. “The law criminalising a woman who undergoes abortion of her own will goes beyond the minimum needed to achieve the legislative purpose and limits the right of self-determination of the woman who has become pregnant,” the court said in its ruling. South Korea’s ban on abortion dates from 1953, when the country’s criminal law was first enacted af...

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