Analysis
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TOKYO (LifeSiteNews) — National data published on April 12 show that Japan’s population fell by 595,000, or 0.48 percent, in one year, resulting in a population of 124,352,000, as of October 1, 2023. This figure marks the 13th consecutive year of population decrease for Japan, a country already plagued with a graying population and a sharp fall in births.

While much has been written in mainstream media outlets on how Japan’s demographic woes are a result of escalating living costs, stagnating wages, and increasing consumerism, few reports have attributed Japan’s population drop to the abortion pill.

This may have been an oversight.

In April 2023, Japan’s Health Ministry formally authorized the country’s first abortion pill made by Linepharma, a British pharmaceutical company. The pill supposedly can end pregnancies up to nine weeks. In December 2021, Linepharma had applied for its product, a two-step treatment of mifepristone and misoprostol, to be authorized. At that time, Japanese national broadcaster NHK said the total cost of the abortion pill and a medical consultation would cost about 100,000 yen ($641 USD).

For years, many pro-abortion groups like Women’s Action Network Japan (WAN Japan) have been campaigning to make the killing of unborn babies more readily available in the East Asian country. WAN Japan has even pointed to online platforms like My Body My Life Japan that collect stories of women who have undergone abortions to “de-stigmatize” the killing of unborn babies.

In 2022, pro-abortion group Action for Safe Abortion Japan organized a petition containing around 82,000 signatures demanding that Japan’s Health Ministry eliminate a legal clause that requires pregnant women to obtain spousal consent to have abortions. The petition argued that a clause in Japan’s Maternal Health Law does not give women the ability to make decisions about killing their unborn babies.

According to the law, women can have an abortion only when it is physically or financially challenging to continue with their pregnancies, if the pregnancy was the result of rape, and in certain other cases.

Doctors of pregnant women eligible for abortions must obtain consent from both the woman and her spouse, including common-law marriage partners, before killing the child.

Individuals like Kumi Tsukahara, a self-employed researcher on abortion issues in Japan, has been pushing to make the abortion pill more accessible and affordable in Japan. Likewise, Kazane Kajiya, a pro-abortion activist who is also lobbying for increased access to contraception, even campaigned for “safe abortion” in Japan. Kajiya’s petition reads:

We demand that Japan abolish the law that deprives women of bodily autonomy and forces them to continue unwanted pregnancies and give birth against their will. Japan is one of only 11 countries in the world where pregnant women need to seek ‘permission’ from their husband for abortion, which means Japanese women cannot make their own decision to terminate a pregnancy.

In 2021, Kajiya organized a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Tokyo entitled “Let Women Decide: Pro-Choice Activists Call on Japan to Allow Women to Make Independent Decisions on Abortion.” This event featured various pro-abortion speakers, including Riza Haslam, founder and president of WEI (Women Empowered Institute).

READ: Birth rates are hitting record lows across the West, and extreme pro-abortion policies are to blame

Fortunately, not everyone in Japan supports killing unborn babies.

Italian Catholic publication Servizio Informazione Religiosa reported last year that pro-life voices in front of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare were protesting against the authorization of the abortifacients.

Kazuo Sasaki, 73, leader of the pro-life protests, organized daily rallies and even went on a hunger strike to resist increased access to abortion at that time.

Catholic News Agency also cited Ligaya Acosta, the regional director of Asia and Oceania at Human Life International, as saying that many pro-life advocates in Japan “find it difficult” to participate in the country’s legislative process. Acosta also highlighted that the Japanese government receives “pressure” from international organizations to widen the country’s access to abortion.

“This [panel approval of the abortion pill] makes us very sad,” Acosta added, alluding to the Japanese government’s decision last year to approve the country’s first abortion pill. She added that Japan has become “a very rich country” and should “start rethinking about their positions” on abortion.

The Japanese government first championed abortion by enacting the Eugenic Protection Law in 1948 to grapple with the country’s postwar economic woes. Currently abortion is legal in Japan for up to 22 weeks’ gestation.

Hopefully, the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and future Japanese governments can recalibrate Japan’s current permissive stance on abortion and educate the Japanese public about the risks of abortion and its consequent dangers on Japan’s overall decreasing population. Massive government spending  will not boost the country’s faltering birth rates if baby-killing pills and services are still promoted.

READ: Japanese publisher of book against gender ideology refuses to be intimidated by LGBT activists

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