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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 22(1); 2013 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2013;22(1): 133-178.
doi: https://doi.org/10.13081/kjmh.2013.22.133
1920~30년대 식민지 조선의 ‘낙태’ 담론 및 실제 연구
A Study on the Discourse and Reality of Abortion in Korea: 1920s~1930s
Young Ah Lee
Bangmok College of General Studies in Myongji University, Seoul, Korea. coolya112@naver.com
Received: March 4, 2013;  Accepted: March 26, 2013.  Published online: April 30, 2013.
This paper tried to collect, classify and analyse the discourse about abortion in 1920~1930. In Korea, modern medical abortion operation started in 1920~30s. At that time abortion was prohibited by the Japanese Government-General of Korea, because the Japanese Government-General of Korea needed large population which was used for labor and exploitation. Hence, the Empire of Japan de-penalized Japanese criminal law related to birth control but Korean law was not revised between 1910~1945. Nevertheless, there were quite a few women who wanted abortion when they had children born in sin or they were too poor to raise their children, so they had abortion secretly. At that time the women generally had abortion through toxic drugs or foods and violence (dropping from a high place or beating their stomach). But high class women did it by medical operation. In 1920s, there was few Korean (modern) medical doctors who could operate for abortion, instead Japanese immigrant medical doctors did it--as the newspaper of that time showed(there were many pieces of news that Japanese doctor who helped abortion was arrested by the police). As time went by Korean doctors got their say about the technique and various knowledge of abortion in newspapers, magazines, and academic Journals; this was especially the case starting in 1930. It is worth noting that they were sometimes arrested for illegal abortion operations. Furthermore, from the late 1920s the insist that abortion should be permitted for women and poor people, appeared. This insist was affected by Japan, the Soviet Union and other countries which was generous with abortion.
Key Words: abortion, discourse, women, cultural study, obstetrics and gynecology, birth control, Japanese colonial Korea
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