Abortion before Birth Control: The Politics of Reproduction in Postwar Japan

Overview

Why has postwar Japanese abortion policy been relatively progressive, while contraception policy has been relatively conservative? The Japanese government legalized abortion in 1948 but did not approve the pill until 1999. In this carefully researched study, Tiana Norgren argues that these contradictory policies flowed from very different historical circumstances and interest group configurations. Doctors and family planners used a small window of opportunity during the American occupation to legalize abortion, ...
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2001 Hardcover Very good 8vo, hardcover. No dj. Vg condition. Very neatly glue-repaired tear to edge of front endpaper; contents bright, crisp & clean, unread. xiii, 242 p.

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Overview

Why has postwar Japanese abortion policy been relatively progressive, while contraception policy has been relatively conservative? The Japanese government legalized abortion in 1948 but did not approve the pill until 1999. In this carefully researched study, Tiana Norgren argues that these contradictory policies flowed from very different historical circumstances and interest group configurations. Doctors and family planners used a small window of opportunity during the American occupation to legalize abortion, and afterwards, doctors and women battled religious groups to uphold the law. The pill, on the other hand, first appeared at an inauspicious moment in history. Until circumstances began to change in the mid-1980s, the pharmaceutical industry was the pill's lone champion: doctors, midwives, family planners, and women all opposed the pill as a potential threat to their livelihoods, abortion rights, and women's health.

Clearly written and interwoven with often surprising facts about Japanese history and politics, Norgren's book fills vital gaps in the cross-national literature on the politics of reproduction, a subject that has received more attention in the European and American contexts. Abortion before Birth Control will be a valuable resource for those interested in abortion and contraception policies, gender studies, modern Japanese history, political science, and public policy. This is a major contribution to the literature on reproductive rights and the role of civil society in a country usually discussed in the context of its industrial might.

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review - Elise K. Tipton
A thorough history of the shifting historical circumstances and the interest-group configurations that have affected birth control policies since World War II.
From the Publisher
"A thorough history of the shifting historical circumstances and the interest-group configurations that have affected birth control policies since World War II."—Elise K. Tipton, American Historical Review
American Historical Review
A thorough history of the shifting historical circumstances and the interest-group configurations that have affected birth control policies since World War II.
— Elise K. Tipton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691070049
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/2/2001
  • Series: Studies of the East Asian Institute
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface
Abbreviations
Ch. 1 Introduction 3
Ch. 2 The Politics of Interests 12
Ch. 3 For the Good of the Nation: Prewar Abortion and Contraception Policy 22
Ch. 4 Japan Legalizes Abortion: The Intersection of National and Professional Interests 36
Ch. 5 The Politics of Abortion: Movements to Revise the Eugenic Protection Law (1952-2000) 53
Ch. 6 Abortion before Birth Control: Japanese Contraception Policy (1945-1960) 83
Ch. 7 The Politics of the Pill (1955-2000) 103
Ch. 8 Conclusion 133
Appendix 139
Notes 159
Bibliography 217
Index 233
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