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International Safe Abortion Day: Abortion Pills Will Be Available In Japan This Year… But There’s A Catch

Many parts of the world, including many European countries, pregnancy pills form the most common method of terminating a pregnancy

Some activists have been joking around the fact that it took three decades for Japan to sanction birth control pills to women while the country took just six months to provide Viagra to men experiencing impotency.

Written by Kashish Sharma |Updated : September 28, 2022 5:47 PM IST

Abortion has been a big word this year. The world is still debating over the repeal of Roe vs Wade which practically led women of America to lose their right to abortion. Women in Japan have a similar story to share. While abortion is legal in Japan but the use of abortion pills is to be rolled out this year. The use of abortion pills comes with a controversial clause, women in Japan will have to seek permission from their partner before consuming or being prescribed the drug.

Under Japan's Maternal Protection Law, consent is already a prerequisite for surgical operations. Activists have called on health authorities to abolish the patriarchial clause that prevents women from exercising their bodily autonomy. Japan has been far behind in practicing gender equality when it comes to women's reproductive rights.

As per reports, the Japanese health authority is all set to approve an abortion pill manufactured by the British pharmaceutical company Linepharma International. While in many parts of the world, including many European countries, pregnancy pills form the most common method of terminating a pregnancy, Japan has been extremely slow in approving drugs related to women's reproductive health.

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Pills will come with a price

As per reports, the long-awaited contraceptive pills will come with restrictions. To make them difficult to buy, these pills won't be available at affordable prices and won't be easily available over the counter. Women who would want to terminate a pregnancy using these pills will have to seek the permission of their partners. It will also involve women being hospitalized while consuming the drug. As per the maternal health protection act, abortion has to be carried out in a medical facility. Reportedly, Japan is one of the 11 countries that require third-party consent in cases of abortion. Some activists have been joking around the fact that it took three decades for Japan to sanction birth control bills to women while the country took just six months to provide Viagra to men experiencing impotency.

India more free with use of abortion pills

Abortion has been legal in India since 1971 under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. It can be carried out up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Both surgical and medical modes of pregnancy termination are available to Indian women. The commonly available abortion pills in India are a combination of Misoprostol and Mifepristone which is sold under different brand names. Both the drugs are registered under India's National List of Essential Medicines and governed by the government price control.

Expert speaks on International Safe Abortion Day

Debanjana Choudhuri, a gender specialist, on the occasion of International Safe Abortion Day told Healthsite.com : "There is a need of encompassing conversations, better investment and schemes regarding extensive sexual reproductive education halting child marriages, safeguarding women and girls from SGBV, and making choices on contraception and safe abortions effectively open to every one of the individuals who need it. Woman should be greatly empowered to be the decision makers of their own bodies and to choose when and if, to have kids."

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