Decriminalisation and Reimagining Legal Change in South Korea and Thailand

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Na Young (SHARE & Joint Action for Reproductive Justice, South Korea) and Sulaiporn Chonwilai (Tamtang Group, Thailand) host our latest dialogue, centering Decriminalisation and Reimagining Legal Change.

Both discussants are inroads members who have been boldly busting abortion stigma through their work in movements and collectives that focus on abortion law change that includes stigma busting and reproductive justice for HIV+ and LGBTQ communities. 

This chat is grounded in the values of mutual learning and community care, and will provides a space for participants to ask questions, share and engage. Listen to their experiences, questions, and dreams for a stigma-free world!

About the Hosts

Sulaiporn, or Noom is a lesbian feminist researcher, a HIV/AIDS and SRH rights activist and a member of Tamtang Group in Thailand. “Tamtang” means “to construct the way” which has same spelling as the  word “Abortion” in Thai but different pronunciation. Noom has been involved with Thai LGBTIQ network since 1999, active in Women and HIV/AIDS issue since 2004 and joined Tamtang Group since it started in 2010. She is also a consultant for Thai Positive Women Foundation and one of a Thailand’s Sexuality Studies Association committee. Her recent book and research are Sexuality in Siam : History of LGBTIQ in Thailand (2017) and Tamtang’s Research for Abolish Section 301 Decriminalizing Women Who Had Abortion

Na Young is an activist of South Korea. She is a co-founder of the ‘SHARE, center for Sexual RigHts And Reproductive JusticE’ and a co-chair of the ‘Joint Action for Reproductive Justice’. She has been working for the decriminalization of abortion since 2010 when the abortion issue has emerged as a social agenda in South Korea. She launched ‘Joint Action for Reproductive Justice’ in 2017, and founded ‘SHARE, center for Sexual rigHts And Reproductive JusticE’ in 2019 with other activists, lawyers, doctors, and researchers. She contributed a paper The Role of Reproductive Justice Movements in Challenging South Korea’s Abortion Ban to the Health and Human Rights Journal in 2019 with Sunhye Kim and Yurim Lee. Her main interests are in SRHR, queer activism, religious fundamentalism, reproductive justice movement, and global activism.

Watch / Listen Here

Highlights!

  • It’s time to move away from the legalisation/decriminalisation paradigm in Asia towards Reproductive Justice Frameworks. We need to question and collaborate beyond just free, safe, legal abortions in order to supporting people who have abortions with other resources (financial, counselling, destigmatized abortion leave at workplace).
  • In Asian contexts, stigma is less of a religous Christian moral issue, and more geared towards unmarried and young people’s pregnancies. Parents, partners and agencies are the ones that are generating the stigma.
  • It’s important to question society and government norms, instead of individual choices. We do not need to be talking of who’s abortion should be permitted, but but instead how the society and government can create and allow for abortions.
  • Buddhist context in Thailand and Monarchy system also comes from there Historical context of population control in S. Korea.
  • Future ideas for legal change: work on Asian Reproductive Justice Network, and converse more about Self Managed Abortion in South Asia as part of RJ approach