Abortion in Okinawa, Japan
At Okinawa Translator, we provide services for women who are seeking to have an abortion in Japan. We can assist you with searching a clinic that is certified to perform abortion in your location, making appointments, on-site interpreting, and translating Japanese documents issued by the clinic.
Artificial Abortion in Japan
・Laws regarding Abortion in Japan
According to the Maternal Health Act of Japan, women are allowed to have an abortion by law if (i) the continuation of pregnancy or delivery may significantly damage the person’s physical health due to bodily or economic reasons, or (ii) the pregnancy was resulted by rape in a violent/threatening manner or at a time when the person could neither resist nor refuse.
In addition, abortion must be performed by an OB-GYN doctor designated by a medical association that is a public interest incorporated association established for the area of a prefecture.
For more information on abortion-related laws in Japan, see here (http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?id=2603&vm=04&re=01).
・Consent of the Spouse or Father of the Child
The consent of the spouse is not necessary if the spouse is not known or cannot express an intention, or if the spouse no longer exists after the pregnancy.
In Japan, abortion can be performed up to 22-week gestation period because abortion is legal only until the third trimester, the only time abortion is performed after that is in the case the life of the mother is threatened. However, many clinics decide to implement abortion only up to 11 weeks due to the factors below:
(1) Physical burden on the mother’s body
(2) Surgery procedure differs from abortion performed between 6-11 weeks to 11 weeks and on; and/or
(3) A death notification must be submitted to the city office for abortion performed after 11-week gestation period; and/or
(4) Aborted fetus 12 weeks and older must be cremated or buried as a dead body according to Japan’s Graveyards and Burials Act (11 weeks and less is considered medical waste).
OB-GYN doctors will usually perform abortion only after the gestation period reaches 6 weeks because (a) the doctor will be able to more so accurately establish the development level of the embryo and mother’s physical status by ultrasound examination, (b) the doctor will be able to detect the heart sound of the embryo, and/or (c) the cervical canal is extremely stiff prior to week 6.
Provided that this rule can change depending on whether it is the mother’s first pregnancy or not, etc. In addition, walk-in (same day) abortion can be done only when all requirements are met AND the schedule of the clinic/physician are suitable. Japanese hospitals can be extremely busy and will sometimes choose not to take any new patients. Therefore, it is recommended that you have adequate time in order to successfully get an abortion.
There are different types of procedures for abortion. The procedure is decided by the OB-GYN clinic that is performing your abortion depending on your physical status, pregnancy condition, what stage of pregnancy you are in at the time of abortion procedure, the clinic’s preference, etc. *EC (Emergency Contraceptive) pills were approved in 2011, but abortifacient is yet to be approved in Japan.
The fee for Abortion procedure in Japan can be anywhere from 100,000 Yen to 300,000 Yen (≒1,000USD to 3,000USD), depending on the woman’s condition, etc. This does not include the first-time patient charge, clinic visit/consultation charges, initial examination fee (starting approx. 25,000 Yen~), and so on.
For those who have a Japanese National Health Insurance, abortion in Japan is NOT covered by the national insurance.
Keep in mind that some hospitals only accept cash payment.
A typical process for abortion in Japan includes but is not limited to the following:
1. Make an Appointment at an OB-GYN clinic/hospital of your choice.
2. Initial Visit to the OB-GYN clinic for Preoperative Examination (consultation with the doctor, urine test, ultrasound, blood test, etc.)
3. Sign and Submit the Consent Form(s) required by the Clinic
4. Abortion Procedure
5. Follow Up (if necessary or required by the clinic)