Push to End South Korea Abortion Ban Gains Strength, and Signatures

While the country’s ban on abortion is rarely enforced, the procedure is illegal with just a few exceptions, putting women at risk of prosecution and creating a culture of shame, activists say.

SEOUL, South Korea — Lee Na-yeon was 18 years old and in her first semester in college when she discovered, to her dismay, that she was pregnant.Ms. Lee went to a hospital and had an abortion. But as a graduate of a Catholic high school where she had been shown graphic videos portraying abortion as murder, she felt scared and tormented by guilt.She had also broken the law.Abortion is illegal in South Korea with just a few exceptions, such as when a woman has been raped or her health is at ris...