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

BBC -- Sep 03
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their partner" before the pills can be administered - a stipulation pro-choice campaigners have called patriarchal and outdated.

Medical abortions, using pills rather than surgery, were made legal in France 34 years ago. Britain approved them in 1991, and the US in 2000.

In many European countries this is now the most common form of terminating a pregnancy - pills account for more than 90% of abortions in Sweden, and around 70% in Scotland.

But Japan, a country with a poor record on gender equality, has a history of being extremely slow to approve drugs related to women's reproductive health. ...continue reading


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