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?

ISMI DAMAYANTI, KIRAN SHARMA and ARISA KAMEI, Nikkei staff writers
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
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/14/japan-abortion-pill-women-reproductive-rights/


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


British firm to seek approval for abortion pill in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan Times
November 21, 2021

British pharmaceutical company Linepharma plans to apply to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry for approval of the abortion pill in late December, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Approval is expected within a year if the review process goes smoothly. It would be the first orally consumed abortion pill, or medication abortion, available in Japan, and is expected to help reduce the related physical and mental burden on women.

Continued: https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0008015494


Japan urged to abolish third-party consent from abortion law

Restrictions amount to ‘sexual assault’ on women by Japanese state, say rights campaigners

Justin McCurry in Tokyo
Mon 27 Sep 2021

Women’s health campaigners have urged Japan’s government to amend a law that forces married women to seek consent from their husbands before they can have an abortion.

Japan is one of only 11 countries that require third-party consent for abortions, despite calls to end the practice by the World Health Organization and other groups.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/27/japan-urged-to-abolish-third-party-consent-from-abortion-law


Japan – Mom abandons newborn after being wrongly denied abortion

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
July 18, 2021

NISHIO, Aichi Prefecture--A city government employee made a grisly discovery in shrubbery in a park here on June 2 last year.

Inside a plastic bag was the body of a baby boy with an umbilical cord still attached. The mother, 21, was arrested four days later.

Continued: https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14387528


Consent from domestic abusers not needed for abortion in Japan

June 28, 2021
By Naruha Yamasaki / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer

The Maternal Health Law stipulates that doctors must obtain the consent of a pregnant woman and her spouse to perform an abortion. In March, however, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry spelled out new guidelines to the law that would allow victims of domestic violence to terminate a pregnancy without their spouse’s consent.

In addition to women being forced to bear a heavy mental and physical burden, this move was prompted by strong concern among medical staff who perform abortions at the risk of being sued by women’s husbands.

Continued: https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0007507681


Japan – Calls for Support During Unintended Pregnancies

June 8, 2021
Video: 3:36 minutes

Unintended pregnancies often force women to
make hard choices under pressure. Every year, in extreme cases, they even
result in the deaths of unplanned children. Shirai Chiaki, a professor at
Shizuoka University, says it's time for Japanese society to build a new
consensus that supports women through potentially life-changing decisions.

Continued: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/videos/20210608133815578/


Expanding access to safe abortions in Japan

BY MAGDALENA OSUMI, STAFF WRITER, JAPAN TIMES
May 2, 2021

Choosing to get an abortion is not an easy decision to make. But women in Japan who do so, due to a variety of reasons, may soon have a safer alternative to surgical procedures — currently the only option they have.

LinePharma, a British pharmaceutical maker, is planning to seek the Japanese government’s approval for the use of its first oral “abortion pills” in Japan as a safe and affordable method of inducing abortion in early stages of pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/05/02/national/japan-safe-abortion/