Japan moves toward approving abortion pill in major shift

Feb 27, 2023

Japan is moving closer to approving an abortion pill for the first time, a step that could offer women more options amid calls for progress in gender equality, with a secondary panel at the health ministry expected to make a decision as early as March.

In January, an initial advisory panel at the health ministry approved the production and sale of the drug, Mefeego. It still needs approval from a separate panel at the ministry as it collects public comments online until Tuesday, with the final decision to be made by the health minister.

Continued: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/02/27/national/japan-abortion-pill-debate/

1st oral abortion pill steps closer to approval in Japan

Jan 27, 2023

A pharmaceutical advisory body for Japan's health ministry on Friday expressed no objection to the manufacturing and marketing of an abortion pill, bringing the medication a step closer to becoming the first of its kind to gain approval in the country.

Abortions in early stages of pregnancies in Japan are currently limited to surgical procedures, and the oral pill, if approved, is seen as a new option that could lighten both physical and mental stress on women.

Continued: https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2023/01/a3cd9774c4b3-1st-oral-abortion-pill-steps-closer-to-approval-in-japan.html

Japan’s 1st Oral Abortion Option up for Approval

The Yomiuri Shimbun
January 22, 2023

Experts on Friday will deliberate whether to approve an oral, two-drug combination to induce an abortion for the first time in Japan, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has announced.

In Japan, the practice of abortion has been limited to surgery, and if the ministry’s expert committee approves the oral combination, it may provide a less burdensome option for women.

Continued: https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/society/general-news/20230122-85729/

Abortion associated with lower psychological distress compared to both adoption and unwanted birth, study finds

by Laura Staloch
January 8, 2023

New research from Archives of Women’s Mental Health examines the psychological effects associated with different pregnancy outcomes. Study author Natsu Sasaki and her colleagues at The University of Tokyo compared four potential outcomes of pregnancy: wanted birth, abortion, adoption, or unwanted birth. Of the four outcomes, unwanted birth and adoption had the highest scores on a measure of psychological distress.

Research has found that unplanned or unintended pregnancy is related to postpartum depression and is also related to subsequent neglect, abuse, and poor child well-being. Research has also found that unintended pregnancies that result in abortion or adoption can have mental health consequences of their own.

Continued: https://www.psypost.org/2023/01/abortion-associated-with-lower-psychological-distress-compared-to-both-adoption-and-unwanted-birth-study-finds-64678

Battle for Reproductive Rights Continues in Japan

OCTOBER 23, 2022
Sasha Kong

Japanese women who want to have an abortion still need their husband's consent under the law, and many have limited access to emergency pills. Some experts believe there is growing momentum now to amend the law.

When a woman in Japan goes to a hospital to have an abortion, doctors not only charge her a high rate, but also request proof of consent from the father.

Continued: https://www.fairplanet.org/story/japan-battle-for-reproductive-rights/

Abortion pill: Why Japanese women will need their partner’s consent to get a tablet

By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, BBC News, Tokyo
Aug 30, 2022

While debate still rages in the US over the repeal of Roe v Wade, a much less noisy argument is unfolding in Japan over the legalisation of so-called medically induced abortions.

In May, a senior health ministry official told parliament it was finally set to approve an abortion pill manufactured by British pharmaceutical company Linepharma International. But he also said that women will still need to "gain the consent of their partner" before the pills can be administered - a stipulation pro-choice campaigners have called patriarchal and outdated.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-62515356

Abortion in Asia: The limits of choice

The overturning of Roe v. Wade could be a watershed for U.S. women's rights. Is the same true in Asia?

JUNE 15, 2022

"Keeping it was never an option," says Rara, a woman in her 20s from Jakarta, Indonesia.

It was 2017 and Rara (not her real name) was studying communication at a private university in the capital. After falling pregnant by her unmarried partner, who had another girlfriend at the time, she felt she could not disappoint her devout Muslim parents.

Continued: https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/The-Big-Story/Abortion-in-Asia-The-limits-of-choice

In Japan, abortion is legal — but most women need their husbands’ consent

Japan’s male-dominated society has been slow to grant women the reproductive rights taken for granted in many other developed countries

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Julia Mio Inuma
June 14, 2022

KUMAMOTO, Japan — The discreet path to a safe space for women with unwanted pregnancies is marked with an unassuming sign: two smiling storks, carrying a clover leaf and a smiling baby in a basket.

Here, at Japan’s only “baby hatch,” women can anonymously leave their babies at Jikei Hospital to be put up for adoption. It’s a last resort for those who are unable or unwilling to raise a baby, with some women coming from across the country because they have nowhere and no one else to turn to.

Continued, unblocked: https://wapo.st/3xPPEK5

Legalising abortion pill only half the battle for women in Japan

Akanksha Khullar
5 Jun, 2022

More than three decades after the abortion pill first became available, legislation to approve the drug is winding its way through Japan’s parliament. The move follows an application last year by British pharmaceutical company Linepharma International to market medication for terminating pregnancies in the country.

An important question needs to be raised here: to what extent can Japan’s new legislation – which is likely to be approved by the end of the year – be described as a laudable step towards improving women's’ rights in the country?

Continued: https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3180280/legalising-abortion-pill-only-half-battle-women-japan

Japan to approve abortion pill – but partner’s consent will be required

Delay in approving pill, and the possible $780 cost, reflect priorities of male-dominated parliament, say critics

Justin McCurry in Tokyo
Tue 31 May 2022

Women in Japan could be forced to seek their partner’s consent before being prescribed the abortion pill, which will reportedly be approved late this year – three decades after it was made available to women in the UK.

Under Japan’s 1948 Maternal Protection Law, consent is already required for surgical abortions – with very few exceptions – a policy that campaigners say tramples over women’s reproductive rights.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/31/japan-to-approve-abortion-pill-but-partners-consent-will-be-required