Japan Mulling OTC Sales of Morning-After Pills

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is considering the approval of over-the-counter sales of so-called morning-after pills, as the number of sexual assault cases and unwanted pregnancies among young people rises amid the novel coronavirus crisis.

The government will consider adding the sales of the emergency postcoital contraceptive method without prescriptions from doctors to its basic plan on promoting gender equality, slated to be approved by the cabinet next week.

The draft basic plan says the government will "consider the use of emergency contraceptives without prescriptions from the perspective of health support and potential users." The government added the sentence after receiving many requests through public comments on the basic plan.

"We understand the needs, and we will thoroughly conduct studies," health minister Norihisa Tamura said at a press conference in October.

Currently, those seeking to use morning-after pills need to obtain prescriptions after a checkup by doctors either in person or online.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press