The news comes at a time when Roe v. Wade’s US debate was ongoing. This only shows that the Japanese government is still far from ensuring gender quality and protecting women’s reproductive health and well-being.
Japan has a long history of gender bias and patriarchal thinking, which is also confirmed by legal proceedings.
Although medical abortion has already been legalized in several countries around the world, it is alarming to note that Japan has only achieved the use of contraceptives, and then only by 3 percent of the entire Japanese female population.
Choice campaigners can’t help but exclaim that a country that took more than three decades to sanction birth control pills for women takes less than six months to make Viagra available to men with impotence.
Dr. Tsugio, head of the Japan Gynecological Association, in a recent interview, remarked that a woman taking abortion pills should be hospitalized for observation. The whole process is expected to be longer than a surgical abortion, he said.
He also added that the sale of abortion pills would continue to be illegal and difficult to obtain from pharmacies, as the National Maternal Health Act clearly states that abortions must be performed in a medical facility.
A federal court has allowed Tennessee to ban abortion as early as six weeks pregnant, while a Texas judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of that state’s years-long ban on virtually all abortions.
Women health activists believe that this is more related to the business of medical institutions and has very little to do with what medical science offers.
Asuka Someiya, a campaigner, said these decisions are convenient for men who don’t even have bodies capable of bearing a child. And, consequently, make the abortion process more complex and controlled by male-dominated institutions.
The ultimate way out of this power system is through effective sex education and greater autonomy for Japanese women through policies that listen and
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