Discussion on how to promote safe abortion

Japanese researchers and activists discussed safe abortion issues at home and abroad, marking International Safe Abortion Day on Tuesday.

September 28 is designated a day of action for activists calling for the right of women around the world to choose a safe abortion.

About 300 people attended the online conference on Tuesday.

Speakers discussed cases where lack of access to safe abortion was to blame. Such examples include women who experience an unwanted pregnancy but cannot have an abortion and end up abandoning their newborn baby.

Some women are forced to give birth to a baby because Japanese law normally requires their partner’s consent to have an abortion.

Participants learned that a written request has been submitted to the Ministry of Health and Welfare for a review of related laws to better protect the lives and rights of women.

A lecturer at Kanazawa University, Tsukahara Kumi, said surgical abortions performed in Japan could harm women. She noted that abortion pills have now been approved in 77 countries and that the World Health Organization designates the pills as safe.

She added that procedures are underway in Japan to approve the pills, and once that is completed, the drug will need to be widely available to women.

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