What’s Current: South Korean feminists are fighting to overturn the nation’s abortion ban

What’s Current is Feminist Current’s daily news roundup.


  • South Korea’s growing feminist movement turns its attention to fighting the country’s abortion ban, in place since 1953.
  • A young woman in El Salvador has been charged with attempted murder, and faces up to 20 years in prison, for abandoning a baby she gave birth to after her 70-year-old stepfather raped her.
  • An essay published in the New England Journal of Medicine recommends a systematic change to the way US hospitals monitor three common hazards to address maternal mortality rates: postpartum hemorrhage, problems with high blood pressure, and blood clots before or after delivery.
  • Large numbers of teen girls and women of childbearing age have diets deficient in calcium and iron, in spite of higher needs for these nutrients. Dieticians are concerned that sex stereotypes and fear of weight gain discourage women and girls from eating foods like red meat and dairy products, contributing to widespread anemia and calcium deficiency.
  • A viral video of a Free Syrian Army fighter murdering his sister in an “honour” killing, after he accused her of adultery, points to a culture of impunity for sexual abuse and femicide in Syria.
Natasha Chart
Natasha Chart

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States. She does not recant her heresy.

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  • mail_turtle

    This review of the book is pretty damning: https://www.theveganrd.com/2010/09/review-of-the-vegetarian-myth

  • Blazing Fire

    I’m sorry about my copy-paste comments of late – but I want to highlight critical things..

    Korean story:

    >> “.. Women can be jailed for up to a year and fined 2m won (£1,363), while local media has reported cases where men, usually husbands or former boyfriends, use the law to blackmail women, or reveal their abortion as a form on retribution.”

    I just don’t know what to say..
    And I bet there is no punishment for the men who “withheld” this “information” for years and blackmailed the woman..

    El Salvador:
    >> “.. At first, prosecutors accused Cortez of inventing the abuse to justify her crime, until a DNA test confirmed the baby’s paternity. Her stepfather is yet to be charged. ..”

    In this 21st century, when DNA test can be conducted easily, the government/court decides to fisrt accuse & attack an impoverished young woman of lying, instead of just ordering for a DNA test when she told what happened to her. Hmmm..

  • corvid

    I respect your position Minerva, though I can’t agree. I’m firmly against conventional and cruel methods of raising and slaughtering animals, and in favor of organic free-range farming. But animals prey upon one another in the wild. Are carnivorous animals necessarily patriarchal and sadistic? We’ve evolved to be able to digest meat and while there have been cultures that have lived on majority-meat diets (think the Inuit) as far as I know there have been no completely vegan cultures in history. Vegetarianism is a lot more realistic and has proven feasible for many people but, as you probably know, vegetarianism is roundly criticized by vegans. It’s possible that I would’ve had better health as a vegetarian but I avoided this sensible idea because of vegan purism. It was really too late to fix my health through simply switching to vegetarianism. I may explore this again but I’m hesitant at the moment. The question remains, am I supporting patriarchy and sadism by attending to my own immediate physical survival? It’s not that simple.

  • corvid

    “I don’t think anyone can win these arguments in terms of health….”
    A big red flag for me is that in veganism, ethics tend to override health. I have often witnessed vegans claiming to put animal welfare above their own health and saying things to the effect of “it’s not a diet, it’s an ethical lifestyle”… it very much IS a diet, and a diet is a health issue first and foremost. It’s crazy to me that any dietary regime would be based on something other than health.
    How do you know that a vegetarian diet would work for all non-vegans? Have you studied nutrition, human biology, digestive disorders? What grounds are there for such a claim?

  • Anon

    But these so-called dieticians aren’t concerned about the negative effects that red meat has on young women’s health, such as the link between red meat and certain cancers and heart disease? Milk is not good for you, it’s a completely unnecessary food. My mum has always told me that and she’s not even vegan. There’s a growing number of young women who are turning to veganism not just because of health and fitness but because of compassion for animals and the realisation that animal agriculture is unsustainable.

    • corvid

      All too often “health and fitness” is shorthand for weight loss in service to unrealistic beauty expectations. Conventional animal agriculture is unsustainable, but small-scale biodynamic and permaculture-based systems are sustainable, homesteading is ideal. Conventional agriculture itself with its pesticides and chemical fertilizers is unsustainable, including the mass-production of vegan foods and shipment of out-of-season produce and other items around the world. Ecosystems and animals are also harmed and killed by these practices. Large-scale organic agriculture also uses fuel for the transport of compost and produce.

  • Anon

    Search on YouTube “The Vegetarian Myth” debunked. It’s amazing to me that a so-called environmentalist would defend animal agriculture. If she’s going to defend meat eating she should advocate for hunting, not animal ag which is one of the most destructive things on the planet. 70% of Amazon deforestation is from animal agriculture.

    • Penny Smith

      I’m not sure that she is a defender of animal agriculture. From what I know about her politics, she is vehemently opposed to all forms of industrial farming. My thoughts are that she would likely agree with your statements.

    • corvid

      Sounds like you aren’t familiar with Keith’s position.

  • Anon

    So screw the planet and the animals, then.

    • corvid

      You are oversimplifying. Why do you have compassion for carnivorous animals but not for humans who fail to thrive on a vegan diet?

  • Anon

    You realise all this heavy meat consumption is a symptom of our greedy, privileged Western culture, right? Third worlders live on a mostly plant-based diet. What women in the third world need is more plant food, not more meat, which increases their risk of getting Western diseases like heart disease. So because men have more privilege and access to luxurious things such as meat that makes it automatically good and something women should strive for as well? No, we should be better than that.

    • corvid

      Are you actually arguing against “third world” women having access to nutrient-dense foods?

    • Alienigena

      Since most of my life I have not been a heavy meat eater I don’t know what point you are trying to make. Everyone needs protein, animal sources are simply easier to absorb. It is a fact, we are not back to biological science denial are we?

      “Some drugs, such as the combined contraceptive pill, can reduce the amount of protein in the body. Other possible causes of low protein are heart failure, pregnancy …”


      You can take your polemic about meat (not a big lover of it or consumer but given that I can’t eat a lot of dairy without becoming dehydrated due to diarrhea I have limitations as to the animal sources I can consume) and … my dietary choices are none of your business.

      Thanks for the virtue signalling.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    Look at this South Korean rapper, San E, bitching about feminists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QInRQ8zEGyM

    (You can use CC to put English subtitles on, if you can’t speak Korean)

  • corvid

    This is a great and informative comment, thanks for sharing and correcting me on vegetarianism. I know I’m being annoying but, lacto-vegetarian isn’t an “exclusively plant-based” diet, so while you and Minerva make a great case for vegetarianism this doesn’t completely address will’s point or my other point about veganism.
    Another personal aside: my teeth became yellowed and more translucent (demineralized) on a vegan diet. This is a common complaint among ex-vegans along with multiple cavities.
    If you’re transitioning to veganism, take good care of yourself, read some in-depth material like Virginia Messina’s “Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition.” Don’t avoid supplements and if you start feeling “off” don’t ignore it for ages like I did!