The Korea Herald


Doctor gets suspended sentence for abortion leading to death

By (공용)코리아헤럴드

Published : April 4, 2015 - 11:04

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A doctor was given a suspended jail term for performing an abortion on a teenager who died from surgical complications, a Seoul court said Friday.

The Seoul Eastern District Court convicted the doctor, identified only as a 37-year-old woman surnamed Jeong, of terminating the pregnancy of a 17-year-old and causing her death in November 2012. The girl, surnamed Lee, was 23 weeks pregnant.

Jeong was sentenced to a year in prison with a two-year stay of execution. Her doctor's license was also suspended for two years.

Jeong, who owns a clinic in eastern Seoul, insisted on Lee's mother's consent to her daughter's abortion, saying her baby was suspected of having Down syndrome, Judge Cho Kyu-seol said in the ruling.

Jeong also fabricated Lee's health records to say she became pregnant after rape, the judge said.

Abortions in South Korea are illegal unless the woman was raped or has a significant risk of dying from pregnancy complications.

The mortality rate associated with surgical abortion increases with the length of pregnancy, from one death for every one million abortions at eight or fewer weeks to 8.9 deaths for every one million abortions after 20 weeks' gestation, according to U.S. non-profit Planned Parenthood. (Yonhap)