Japan approves abortion pill for the first time

After the health ministry approved the drug used to terminate early-stage pregnancy, the abortion pill will be made available in Japan for the first time.

Abortion is allowed in Japan up to 22 weeks, however, consent from a husband or partner is normally necessary, and surgical abortion was once the only option.

The ministry informed healthcare officials on Friday that it had approved the medicine manufactured by the British pharmaceutical company Linepharma.

The pharmaceutical company submitted its medication, a two-step mifepristone and misoprostol therapy, for approval in Japan in December 2021.

Many countries, including France, which approved the abortion pill in 1988, and the United States, where it has been available since 2000, have similar medications.

The pill’s clearance to stop pregnancies up to nine weeks follows a ministry panel’s approval, which was delayed for a month due to thousands of public comments.

The whole cost of the abortion pill and a medical consultation, according to NHK, would be roughly 100,000 yen ($700). Public health insurance does not cover abortions.

Surgical abortions can range between 100,000 and 200,000 yen.

In recent weeks, mifepristone has been at the center of a high-profile US court case.

The United States Supreme Court has temporarily safeguarded access to the widely used abortion medication, halting lower court orders that would have outlawed or severely limited its distribution.

Campaigners in Japan are also advocating for increased availability of the morning-after pill, which prevents pregnancy.

In Japan, emergency contraception is currently unavailable without a doctor’s prescription. It is also the only medicine that must be administered in front of a pharmacist in order to prevent it from being sold on the black market.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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