Journal of Philosophy of Life

An international peer-reviewed open access journal dedicated to the philosophy of life, death, and nature, supported by the Research Institute for Contemporary Philosophy of Life, Osaka Prefecture University


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[Special Report]

Discrepancies of Abortion Methods and Values Between Japan and the World

Kumi Tsukahara

Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.4, No.4 (December 2014):99-120



In this paper, the discrepancy in abortion methods between Japan and overseas and the discrepancy in attitude toward abortion between CEDAW and Japan were considered. Today, the global standard for first-trimester abortion is the use of MA and VA without the help of GA. However, in Japan, the ‘obsolete’ D&C and un-recommended GA remain used for early abortion, whereas neither MA nor VA has seen full adoption. This lagging of abortion technology is due to several reasons: the customary use of current methods, doctors’ lack of concern and desire to maintain an advantageous status quo, the stigmatization of abortion, ‘apathy and disdain’ toward women and a lack of correct information, which this paper attempts to mitigate. The MHLW’s suspicious notice and the Japanese government’s reluctance to improve women’s condition due to ‘fetus over women’ ideology demand more examination. We should turn our eyes to the real suffering of Japanese women and the possibility for MA to save them from agony. Women’s reproductive health and rights are human rights that are their natural rights. We should then find a way to realize this pledge in Japanese society.

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