National Institute of Public Health, Department of Health & Welfare Service Research Wako-shi, Saitama, Japan
Japan, known as a pro-choice country in terms of abortion, is currently facing the increase of “selective abortions” thanks to new prenatal screening. Efforts to restrict proliferation of new technology has not been successful and it is likely that Japan will turn pro-life by strictly enforcing the Maternity Protection Act (MPA), which prohibits abortions due to “fetal cause”.
1. Ministry of Health, Labour & Welfare (MHLW), Department of Statistics & Information. Annual report of public health administration, 1949-2012.
2. Wikipedia [homepage on the Internet]. Eugenics in Japan; [about 2 screens]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_Japan#Race_Eugenic_Protection_Law
3. Will GF. Eugenics by abortion. Washington Post [serial on the Internet]. 2005 April 14. Available from: [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51671-2005Apr13.html]
4. Saito H. [Current status of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) in Japan]. Current Information of Maternal & Child Health2012; 66: 13–7.
5. Japan Society of Obstetrics & Gynecology. ART Registry of Japan, 2008 [internet]. Available from: http://plaza.umin.ac.jp/~jsog-art/ART%20Registry%20of%20Japan,2008.pdf
6. Chief of the Bureau of Children & Families, Ministry of Health, Labour & Welfare (MHLW). Warning on maternal serum screening. Administrative directive No. 582, issued on July 21st, 1999 [in Japanese].
7. Wikipedia [homepage on the Internet]. Prenatal diagnosis; [about 4 screens]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_diagnosis
8. Sequenom Inc. MaterniT21 [internet]. Available from: http://laboratories.sequenom.com/maternit21plus/maternit21-plusknowing-about-your-pregnancy
9. Hirahara F. Prenatal screening and importance of genetic counseling. Kanagawa [serial on the Internet]. 2013 October 28. Available from: http://news.kanaloco.jp/localnews/article/1310280009/
10. More than 90% chose abortions. Asahi [serial on the Internet]. 2013 November 22. Available from: http://www.asahi.com/articles/TKY201311220411.html