SEOUL, November 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After two decades of watching too many patients cry too many tears, enough was enough for obstetrician Shim Sang-duk, who vowed that he would no longer perform abortions, a financially lucrative business in South Korea, reports the Los Angeles Times. But refusing to perform abortions in a nation dubbed the “Abortion Republic” carries a steep price for this doctor: Shim must live with death-threats from abortion seekers turned away and the knowledge that loss of profits from abortion could lead to the shuttering of his medical practice.
Nevertheless, Shim stands by his decision and is spearheading a movement of ob-gyn doctors to end the practice of abortion in Korea, by transforming the medical profession, and by encouraging the government to enforce a long-standing ban on abortion that has been routinely ignored since the 1970s.
“Over time, I became emotionless,” Shim told the LA Times. “I came to see the results of my work as just a chunk of blood. During the operation, I felt the same as though I was treating scars or curing diseases.”
Shim attributed his own pro-abortion mentality in part to the Republic of Korea’s former population-control policy that for decades encouraged the medical profession to provide abortion and contraception to Korean women for patriotic reasons.
“I bought into the government’s argument that it was OK to do this,” Shim continued. “It was good for the country. It boosted the economy.”
The government has now abandoned that policy, and has frantically moved in the opposite direction to save the nation from a self-inflicted demographic implosion that threatens to undermine the nation’s economic and social survival.
However, Shim’s own conversion on the issue of abortion occurred through observing the behavior of post-abortive mothers. He noted that most of these patients cried after abortion, but the tears disturbed him because they were quite unlike the tears of mothers after childbirth. “These were a different kind of tears,” he said.
Shim performed his last abortion at the request of a longtime patient who begged him to kill her unborn child even though he had already stopped performing abortions. After giving her extensive counseling Shim relented, but the woman wept like the other post-abortive women Shim had seen, and that was the last time he broke his rule.
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