Change in regulations follows lobbying by advocacy groups.

In Japan, morning-after pills are colloquially just called “after pills.” That’s probably because adapting English words to Japanese pronunciation adds a few syllables and makes them longer to say — “after pill” is pronounced “afutaa piiru,” and adding “mooningu” would make the term even more unwieldy to say in Japanese.

But dropping the early-the-next-day indicator is actually appropriate, since right now in Japan a woman can only obtain emergency contraceptive pills if she has a prescription. That, of course, requires a doctor’s appointment/examination, and by the time all those protocols have been cleared it’s probably not going to be the morning after sex took place anymore.

That’s going to change, however. News service Kyodo reports that the Japanese government has decided to revise the regulation and will allow the purchase of morning-after pills at pharmacies without a prescription.

Given the Japanese government’s long-running efforts to increase Japan’s infamously low birth rate, a move towards easier access to emergency contraceptives might surprise some. But while the government would like to see more babies being born, it wants those babies to be from planned, or at least desired, pregnancies. The new policy follows lobbying by youth welfare organizations and sexual assault advocacy groups in Japan, who have decried women’s need for a prescription while dozens of other countries at similar levels of development have no such requirement.

The lifting of the prescription requirement is expected to take place sometime in 2021.

Source: Kyodo via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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