Discussion on how to promote safe abortion

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

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

About 300 people took part in the online conference on Tuesday.

Speakers discussed cases where a lack of access to safe abortion was at issue. Such examples include women who experience unwanted pregnancy but are unable to have an abortion and end up abandoning their newborn babies.

Some women are forced to give birth to a baby, as Japanese law requires in principle their partner's consent to have an abortion.

Participants learned that a written request has been submitted to the Health and Welfare Ministry 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 being carried out in Japan could harm women. She noted that abortion pills have now been approved in 77 countries and the World Health Organization designates the pills as safe.

She added that procedures are under way in Japan for approving the pills, and once that is completed, the medicine needs to be made widely available to women.