SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) — Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul reiterated the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion after South Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s abortion ban is unconstitutional.

The country’s top court April 11 called for a legislative change to partially allow a mother to choose to terminate a pregnancy in its early stages.

While some women’s and medical organizations welcomed the decision, Cardinal Yeom used his Easter message to express his concerns, ucanews.com reported.

“A nation has a responsibility to protect its people’s lives and safety under any circumstances. Every life, from the moment of conception, should be protected as a human being and secured with its dignity,” he said in the message released April 15.

While urging lawmakers to carefully amend the law, he asked the faithful to be the first to choose life rather than death.

“We, people of God, should concretely serve and sacrifice for life. Among various social obstacles and difficulties, we Christians should strictly refuse the culture and temptation for death,” he said.

“When we, ourselves, start choosing, respecting and respecting every life as it is, we will definitely be able to experience the risen Lord living right here with us.”

Cardinal Yeom will deliver the message at the Easter Vigil April 20 in Seoul.

Supporters of the abortion ban have said the court’s decision violates the right to life of unborn children and resolved to challenge the ruling and protect life whenever possible.