ASIA/SOUTH KOREA - The Bishops: "No abortion, preferential option for life"

Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - The Korean Church reaffirms its "No to abortion" and urges all Christians in Korea to make a "preferential option for the defense of life": So says the "Committee for Bioethics" within the Catholic Bishops Conference, led by His Exc. Mgr. Gabriel Chang Bong-hun, Bishop of Cheongju. In past days, the Bishop celebrated a "Mass for Life" in the Cathedral of Seoul, reiterating that the Catholic community wants to engage fully in society to promote a "genuine culture of life". Mgr. Chang said: "We cannot remain indifferent to the fact that the whole society, and even the media, do not say anything about the still widespread practice of abortion". He added: "We all have to take the lead to become protectors and defenders of the unborn, to be more delicate and vulnerable", urging the faithful to "make a preferential option for the protection of life in accordance with divine teaching: Thou shalt not kill ". The Committee recalled the activation of the "New Life Project", launched a year ago, in collaboration with pro-life movements, to help mothers in need not to abort. The project supports with concrete help mothers in need, providing them with medical facilities and care, so that they do not abort. The project includes 15 homes for single mothers, health care before and after childbirth and economic aid. The aim of the initiative is also to prevent unwanted pregnancies. To this end, also sex education in Catholic schools and parishes are scheduled. Abortion has been legal in South Korea South since 1973 and is currently allowed within the 28 weeks in cases of incest, violence, some congenital diseases or malformations of the fetus or in case of danger to the mother's life. According to data of the Korean Church, at least 1.5 million abortions are performed each year in South Korea (PA) (Agenzia Fides 14/2/2012)