Standing in solidarity with the women and people of South Korea as the government denies sexual and reproductive health rights


16 MAY 2024

Women On Web, an online organization committed to providing vital information on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and facilitating access to safe abortion, lost in the appeal against the administrative site-blocking order issued by the Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC). Together with Open Net Korea and Moimnet, Women on Web expresses regret over the court's continued denial of women and pregnant people’s right to health and information, a struggle ongoing since 2019.

A joint statement by Women On Web, Moimnet and Open Net Korea on May 3, 2024, highlighted the persistent challenges of accessing abortion in South Korea, including stigmatization, high costs, denial of service, and harmful practices such as third-party consent, even after the decriminalization of abortion. The government’s delay in registering abortion drugs has prevented many from receiving gold-standard care with Mifepristone and Misoprostol, which are 98% effective and listed under the World Health Organization (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines.

The KCSC's decision to block Women On Web’s website lacks expertise, is not backed by scientific evidence, and has detrimental effects on women's rights. The blocking was procedurally flawed, and had no legitimate grounds, raising concerns about the abuse of authority. KCSC’s claim that Women on Web violated the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act is contested, as Women On Web operates by connecting women and pregnant people in need of abortion pills with pro-choice pharmacists overseas, akin to any websites that provide information on where to obtain products or services.

In 2002, the Constitutional Court questioned broad content regulation based on vague suspicions of social harms, insisting that it should target only those contents “explicitly illegal per se and clearly socially harmful”. The KCSC blocked Women on Web’s website under a provision that does not meet these criteria, i.e., it authorizes takedown when “it is necessary for nurturing sound communication ethics”. The application of this law to Women on Web is questionable given the Court’s rule limiting the scope of government takedown ‘explicitly illegal per se and clearly socially harmful'.

Despite the adverse rulings, Women on Web remains committed to providing its services in South Korea, with or without censorship, and is planning for further action, including a possible constitutional appeal. Open Net Korea and Moimnet will continue their support for Women On Web until the right to abortion is realized in South Korea.

We stand in solidarity with women and pregnant people who are deprived of autonomy and have to take matters into their own hands. We again urge the South Korean government to:


      1. Immediately revoke all orders blocking access to Women on Web’s website.
      2. Collaborate with trusted healthcare providers and abortion rights groups to promote unrestricted access to accurate health information.
      3. Establish clear WHO-aligned guidelines on safe abortion care that meet the needs of women and pregnant people in South Korea.
      4. Re-evaluate the roles of the KCSC so that it supports freedom of expression and access to information.


If you need an abortion, visit Women on Web or for more information about abortion with pills and at-home abortion.

For more information and media inquiries, contact Women on Web: or Open Net Korea: