James Chan-Jin Kim and his wife Gloria Young Ae Lee recently completed a trip to Boston to gather information that may be helpful in expanding the fledgling pro-life movement in their home country of South Korea. Pilot photo/ Donis Tracy
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CAMBRIDGE -- It has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. It is at the forefront of cloning and stem-cell research. One survey conducted found that nearly half of all women between the ages of 15 and 44 have had at least one abortion.
The place is South Korea and until 2005, there was no organized voice in the country to speak out for life.
Seeing the need to address the situation, Seoul Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk called together a group of devoted Catholics to begin the Committee for Life, a pro-life movement of the Archdiocese of Seoul. There was only one problem: after 35 years of abortions on demand, no one knew where to begin.
“Cardinal Cheong strongly felt we had to do something,” recalled James Chan-Jin Kim, an attorney and former commissioner of the Korean Trade Commission who is one of the founding members of the Korean pro-life movement. “But the concept of pro-life is so unfamiliar to Korea.”
“We are interested in learning and hearing about the pro-life movements in other places,” continued Kim. “Korea is at the initial stage of the building of our prized pro-life system.”