Can you get an abortion pill in Japan?
Published on 10 Oct
The BBC is full of interesting stories from around the world and it is always fascinating to hear about other cultures, never more so than the slow rollout of the abortion pill in Japan, a common and accepted way of terminating a pregnancy in Western Europe.
You may have heard of the repeal of Roe v Wade in the US, which removes the freedom to have an abortion. In Japan, there is a different situation, where approval from the authorities for use of abortion pills has historically been slow. In addition, a woman wanting an abortion must get written permission from her husband or partner.
This derives from a deep-rooted patriarchal society and not religion. Equally, DNA paternity testing has been slow to take off in Japan, although there are increasing numbers of paternity tests to establish the biological father and also, pre-natal DNA tests. Critics in Japan say that pre-natal testing could help a woman choose abortion, which given the poor availability of the abortion pill, might prove rather tricky.