The abortion pill is now available in Japan after it was approved by the health ministry yesterday.
Abortion has been legal in Japan since 1948, until the 22 weeks of gestation, but the consent of a spouse or partner is usually required, and the surgical procedure has until now been the only option for abortion.
However, yesterday in an official notification to the medical industry, the Japanese Ministry of Health announced that it had approved the pill manufactured by the British laboratory Linepharma.
The British laboratory had filed in December 2021 in Japan a request for approval. of his abortion pill, a treatment that combines two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol, taken one to two days later.
This method of abortion has been approved in many countries, including the US since 2000 and France since 1988.
The approval of this pill in Japan to terminate pregnancies up to nine weeks follows the recommendation of a ministerial committee that emerged after lengthy discussions.
According to state broadcaster NHK, the total cost of purchasing this pill and medical consulting services will amount to approximately ¥100,000 (€669). Termination of pregnancy is not covered by health insurance.
Mifepristone has been at the center of a legal battle in the US. The Supreme Court there ruled on April 21 to maintain access to the abortion pill, also known as the “morning-after pill,'' for now.
Abortion rights advocates in Japan are campaigning to given greater access to this pill.
So far, the pill cannot be bought without a doctor's approval, is not covered by health insurance and is the only drug that must be taken in front of a pharmacist. The reason; To avoid "entering" the pill on the black market.