Why Japanese women will need their partner’s permission to take the abortion pill

  • Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
  • BBC News, Tokyo

Image of a Japanese couple sharing an umbrella in the rain

Credit, Getty Images

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Japanese women will need their partner’s consent to take the abortion pill

In May, a top health ministry official told parliament he was finally ready to approve an abortion pill made by British pharmaceutical company Linepharma International.

But he also said women would still need to “get their partner’s consent” to be able to take the drug — a condition that pro-choice activists called patriarchal and outdated.

Drug-induced abortions, using pills instead of surgery, were legalized in France 34 years ago. The UK approved the practice in 1991 and the US in 2000.

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