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Japan. The morning-after pill will be available without a prescription

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Japan allows the use of the morning-after pill without a prescription. so-called emergency contraception will be available for trial until March 2024.

A special commission at the Ministry of Health of Japan approved the sale of so-called “morning after pill” without a prescription in pharmacies, i.e. emergency contraception, reported the Japanese agency Kyodo. For now, this is a pilot program and will run until March next year.

According to the new regulations, pharmacies that will be able to sell the “morning after” pill without a prescription must employ professional pharmacists and be open on weekends, nights and holidays. They must also be able to coordinate with nearby maternity and gynecology clinics. Until now, women had to go to their doctor for a prescription to get the morning-after pill.

SEE ALSO: Legal sex from 16, not 13. Japan also changes the definition of rape

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Japan has approved the morning-after pill without a prescription

Discussions about allowing the sale of over-the-counter emergency contraception began in 2017, but then the country’s authorities did not decide on such a year. The Japan Times portal notes that the topic resurfaced in 2020, after the Tokyo government introduced various gender equality policies.

As the “Japan Times” reminds, according to the statistics of the Japanese Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the effectiveness of the “morning after” pill is greatest in the first 24 hours after intercourse, when it is up to 95 percent. After 72 hours, it drops to about 58 percent. According to the portal, many experts are in favor of increasing access to them, because it could help rape victims and at the same time potentially reduce the demand for abortion services. The Japanese themselves are also favorably disposed to them. Out of over 46,000 comments sent as part of the public consultation to the local Ministry of Health, more than 90 percent. approved the sale of over-the-counter emergency contraception.

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Japan allows the use of abortion pills

The Guardian notes that the decision to allow the sale of the morning-after pill without a prescription comes a few weeks after Japan authorized the sale of the abortion pill for early pregnancy termination in April. Abortion in this country is legal up to the 22nd week of pregnancy, but until recently the only option to perform it was in a clinic or hospital. Japanese women can now legally use the abortion pill up to the 9th week of pregnancy.

Morning-after pills are designed to prevent pregnancy, while abortion pills terminate pregnancies. According to data from the Japanese government, 95 countries around the world already allow the use of the “morning after” pill without a prescription.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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