At a lecture for healthcare workers held earlier this month, North Korean authorities announced to medical professionals that abortions and the implantation of birth control devices will now be illegal in the country, sources told Radio Free Asia. Gynecologists found guilty of IUD implantation will be punished by law, as will those who conduct abortions, which have been legal in the Hermit Kingdom since 1950. “Punishments for those who perform illegal abortions and use contraceptive devices are already in place, but this new policy bans all kinds of abortions and birth control procedures, including even those performed at hospitals,” the sources said.
Radio Free Asia said that the government ban hopes to reverse North Korea’s birth rate, which has been falling since 1990 due to widespread famine and poverty, and that due to cost, many North Korean families have already imposed a voluntary one-child restriction. According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, North Korea’s birth rate ranks 134 out of 224 countries. According to the article, many young women in North Korea receive IUD implants at a young age because sexual assault is rampant throughout the country and parents want to prevent pregnancies.
Read the full story at Radio Free Asia.