Reproductive Health in Japan

Japanese reproductive situation seems very different from those of other nations. It sure is. But it is not the exotic mistery that makes ours different. Now, let's exchange the views on sexuality, life, pregnancy, abortion, child-rearing etc... I will try to explain our situation. Would you please let me know yours?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Almost no abortion counseling system in Japan.

As I answered Masahiro in the comment for the previous entry, most(if not all) of the American and British abortion providers have mental care system including pre- and post-procedure counseling as far as I know. Most providers are operated by pro-choice groups in those nations. That may explain their policy are, in a way, women-centered. Besides, In these nations, the abortion counseling fee is usually covered by medical assurancem, or at least, there seems to be some system to help financially the women who need such counseling. (But, the policy of American Medicaid providers differs a lot, I hear.)

As for European systems, I know Germany has such mandated counseling system as Masahiro mentioned. I once read an article which blamed the German mandated abortion counselings as they were rather relieving women from guilt and brought them to "decide" the abrtion not to avert it. That means even the mandated system can help the women's psychological and mental health sometime. There is no such system in Japan.

A Dutch professor and his wife once told me that they do not have public system to help women mentally but there is a self-help group to offer psychological care to the women. In Japan, however, if a woman gets in psychological problem due to abortion, she must find a way out by herself. Unfortunately, there is no women's group known to help such a woman. Even the nurses are not trained for help women in need of abortion.


Blogger Masahiro_Morioka said...

thanks, kumi. Then I wonder how is the activities of pro-life groups on this issue. We can find a lot of websites and books on post abortion traumas, and most of them were run by pro-life groups. Do they provide psychological care to those women? I suppose those who have a sense of guilt might have an interest in pro-life thoughts.

I think self-help groups are needed also in Japan. I can't figure out why Japanese feminist groups have not launched such activities up untill now.

5/01/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Kumi said...

Post-abortion (stress) syndrome is a concept much used among pro-life people. They use the so-called "victims of abortion" as one of the reasons they oppose abortion. But, I won't step into the abortion debate between pro-life and pro-choice, and I won't call myself either. I am critical of using such a frame of binary opposition to think the abortion problem. How about you?

Concerning the books on abortion trauma, there are some good books written not from the pro-life's view. One of them is "The Healing Choice" by Candace De Puy and Dana Dovitch. This one was translated into Japanese a few years ago.

As for your last query, one of the reasons I entered the graduate school is to answer that question. I am trying to write my dissertation. Please be patient...

5/01/2006 01:37:00 PM  

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