Japan has finally approved the abortion pill.
Surgical abortions up to 22 weeks of a pregnancy are legal in Japan but have always required partner consent, unless certain circumstances were met, such as unidentifiable partner, death of partner, rape or when the mother’s life is in danger.
Despite meeting requirements, local media have reported doctors denying the procedure to women.
If women underwent abortion procedures without a partner’s consent or faked their signature, they could face up to one year in prison.
Now, the government has approved a pill that can help terminate pregnancies up to nine weeks.
Women’s rights activists are now pushing for better access to the morning after pill, which cannot be bought in Japan without a doctor’s approval.
Around 145,000 abortions were carried out in Japan in 2020.