South Korea's constitutional court is to rule Thursday (Apr 11) on the legality of a decades-old abortion ban that campaigners say endangers women, in what could be a historic decision.
The South is one of the few industrialised nations where the procedure is illegal except for instances of rape, incest and when the mother's health is at risk.
Women who undergo the procedure can be jailed for a year and fined, while doctors who carry out terminations can be given two years in prison.
The 1953 law is widely flouted and rarely results in prosecutions, but activists say it leaves women facing being unable to pay for terminations, unsafe procedures and social isolation.
Calls to repeal the law have gained traction in recent years, but support for it is also staunch in a country that remains conservative towards female sexuality and highly influenced by evangelical Christianity.
An opinion poll in 2017 showed a narrow public majority - 51.9 per cent - in favour of abolishing the ban.
The Constitutional Court last upheld the law in 2012, saying that abortion would "end up running rampant" if not punished.