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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 July 6 - 12  > JCP in civil group’s survey: Reproductive health and rights are human rights
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2022 July 6 - 12 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP in civil group’s survey: Reproductive health and rights are human rights

July 6, 2022

A survey by a civil group working for women’s right to safe abortion, Action for Safe Abortion Japan, has made even clearer that in marked contrast with the Japanese Communist Party, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party takes a negative stance toward the promotion of reproductive health and rights of women as well as of gender equality.

The survey was conducted in June on nine political parties which have seats in the Diet. The JCP and five other parties sent their responses to the group by the June 28 deadline. The “Reiwa Shinsengumi” party, the Komei Party, and the “Nippon Ishin no Kai” party did not answer by the deadline.

One of four questions in the survey was about a provision in the Maternal Health Act which requires a woman wishing to get an abortion to obtain her spouse’s consent. The JCP answered that this provision should be abolished as it denies women’s right to self-determination. In addition, the party in its response stated, “Reproductive health and rights are human rights. These rights should be respected in the process of creating rules and regulations.”

On the other hand, the LDP in its response only stated that it is important to deepen public discussions on the provision.

Regarding a question about a Penal Code clause criminalizing abortion under which only women are subject to a penalty, the JCP answered that this provision should be revised. Explaining the reason, the party stated, “This provision was established in the Meiji era when women’s rights were restricted under the patriarchal system of control over women’s bodies. Since its establishment, it has played a part not only in denying women’s right to self-determination but also in spreading the social stigma associated with abortion.”

In contrast, the LDP in its response stated that there is no need to abolish or revise the criminal abortion clause.

In response to two other questions, such as whether to approve the introduction of abortion pills in Japan, the JCP made a positive reply from a view-point of the promotion of gender equality and women’s reproductive rights, while the LDP gave negative responses.
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