- 医学哲学 医学倫理 (ISSN:02896427)
- vol.28, pp.38-48, 2010-09-24 (Released:2018-02-01)
In this article, I would like to address the problems of the Japanese government's policy on reproductive rights from the viewpoint of development of reproductive control technologies. The problems were rooted in an old and unrefined abortion method spread in this country in spite of the international principle of reproductive health and rights. Reproductive Rights are the series of human rights relating to reproduction and reproductive health, which were explicitly recognized at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in 1994. These rights are key to women's dignity and gender equality, and articles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, serve as a basis for these rights, as well as those of the UN declaration of Human Rights (1948) and several other International covenants for human rights. Reproductive rights were only possible after the development of abortion methods that assuage the tension between the pro-life position and women's rights. However, the Japanese government's continuing opposition to the advice of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to legalize abortion came about because of the fixation on the feto-centric and women-exclusive view of abortion. Such a policy should be replaced by a more humane, inclusive view of reproduction in order to improve reproductive healthcare and to eliminate discrimination against women in Japan.