The recent approval of Japan's first oral abortion pill is an important step towards achieving gender equality and ensuring that women exercise their right to self-determination over their bodies, including pregnancy and childbirth.
IPPF believes that true gender equality requires empowering women to be fully informed and in control of their bodies, thereby expanding their choices and enabling them to determine their own futures.
Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), underlined the importance of this landmark milestone during a visit to Japan in April.
Public support through public comments for the approval shows that the social situation in Japan is changing, with increased awareness of women's lives and health, reproductive freedom and women's rights.
In its guidelines, the World Health Organisation (WHO) included oral abortion pills in the Essential Medicines Core List, in line with the evidence accumulated in the past, and removed the requirement of direct supervision by health professionals for their use as these pills can be used outside healthcare facilities without compromising safety and efficacy and the abortion process can be managed using the drug without direct supervision of health professionals.
IPPF urges Japan to follow these WHO guidelines, including abortion as part of women's health care, and allow women to take safe oral abortion pills at home.
Guaranteeing women in its own country access to these essential medicines is also in line with Japan's strong commitment and global pledge to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), ensuring that all women have access to medicines that save their health and lives, and that no one is left behind.
IPPF looks forward to, and is committed to working with and supporting, Japan's future steps towards achieving a society that supports true gender equality, where women can exercise their right to self-determination over reproduction.