Sex discrimination and abortion in South Korea

On December 26, the Globe and Mail reprinted an item from the Economist saying that the stork was delivering fewer girls in South Korea. In 1980 there were 79 men in the country for every 100 women. By 2000 there will be 120 men to 100 women. Lee Hee Baik, a professor in the graduate school of health at Seoul University, says one possible explanation is that pregnant women are finding out the sex of their child and aborting if it is female. “When a woman comes in for her third child,” said Mr. Hong Sung Bong, an obstetrician and gynecologist, “the doctor does not need to ask: he knows she has two daughters.” He thinks that 20,000 selective abortions are carried out every year.

Ban overturned

In December 1989 Dr. John Anderson, president of the B.C. Medical Association, denounced the December 8 decision of the trustees of Nanaimo’s Regional General Hospital to stop abortions. He also attacked Bill C-43 because “there is no guarantee of access.”

The ban, which was supposed to have been applied from January 1, 1990, was overruled, at least temporarily, by a decision of the hospital’s governing Board. The earlier decision had been opposed by members of the medical staff and denounced by a majority of the Nanaimo city council.

Vancouver’s abortuary damaged

On Sunday, February 25, a crowbar was used to destroy equipment used to destroy unborn babies at Vancouver’s private abortuary, the Everywoman’s Health Centre.

Police arrived 15 minutes after the noon alarm but found no one on the premises. Damage was estimated at $30,000.

The abortuary was back “in business” a few days later.