Abortion in Japan

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This page gives information of type abortion about the country Japan.
See all pages giving information on abortion for particular countries|See all pages giving information about Japan

Data sources

Abortion data is obtained from Johnston's archive, which in turn relies on a variety of sources. Data is not of high reliability.

Fertility data referenced on this page is drawn from the Human Fertility Database, which is of high reliability. The UN data and the HFD data correlate highly, even though the former is slightly less accurate, so the inconsistency in data sources should not affect broad conclusions. For more detailed fertility data, see the fertility in Japan page.

Qualitative history of relevant events

See Wikipedia:Abortion in Japan.

Year Event Postulated effects seen in abortion statistics
1869 abortion was banned nationwide, but punishment was rare except in cases of adultery or death to the mother
1880 ban on abortion was included in the penal code
1907 women could be incarcerated for up to a year for having an abortion; practitioners could be jailed for up to seven.
1923 doctors were granted legal permission to perform emergency abortions to save the mother's life; abortions performed under different, less life-threatening circumstances were still prosecuted.
1940 National Eugenic Law outlined a set of procedures doctors needed to follow in order to get an abortion.
1948 passage of Eugenic Protection Law legalizing abortion and facilitating the provision of family planning services Likely huge increase, but no pre-1948 data available anyway.
1996 replacement of the Eugenic Protection Law by the Maternal Health Protection Law, making abortion illegal except in case the fetus had significant defects or in case of danger to the mother's health No discernible effect, but probably because the law itself didn't change reality on the ground.
2006 abortion was officially made legal conditional to the mother's consent No discernible effect, but probably because the law itself didn't change reality on the ground.

Abortion ratio and abortion rate

Year Abortion ratio Abortion ratio minus previous year's abortion ratio Abortion rate Abortion rate minus previous year's abortion rate
1947
1948
1949 91.3 4.9
1950 209.2 117.9 15.1 10.2
1951 298.6 89.4 21.3 6.2
1952 401.7 103.1 36.3 15
1953 571.8 170.1 47.7 11.4
1954 645.9 74.1 50.2 2.5
1955 693.4 47.5 55.5 5.3
1956 696.2 2.8 53.9 -1.6
1957 716.4 20.2 51.2 -2.7
1958 683.9 -32.5 50.6 -0.6
1959 677.1 -6.8 48.4 -2.2
1960 663.3 -13.8 46.7 -1.7
1961 652.6 -10.7 45.3 -1.4
1962 610.8 -41.8 42.1 -3.2
1963 576.3 -34.5 39.5 -2.6
1964 512.5 -63.8 42.1 2.6
1965 462.9 -49.6 33.4 -8.7
1966 596 133.1 31.5 -1.9
1967 386.3 -209.7 28.9 -2.6
1968 404.6 18.3 29.1 0.2
1969 393.9 -10.7 28.4 -0.7
1970 378.5 -15.4 28 -0.4
1971 369.7 -8.8 28.3 0.3
1972 359.4 -10.3 27.8 -0.5
1973 334.9 -24.5 26.4 -1.4
1974 334.9 0 25.6 -0.8
1975 353.9 19 25.2 -0.4
1976 362.4 8.5 25 -0.2
1977 365.4 3 24.2 -0.8
1978 361.7 -3.7 23.4 -0.8
1979 373.6 11.9 23.2 -0.2
1980 379.3 5.7 22.6 -0.6
1981 390.1 10.8 22.7 0.1
1982 389.5 -0.6 22.5 -0.2
1983 376.7 -12.8 21.5 -1
1984 381.9 5.2 21.4 -0.1
1985 384.3 2.4 17.8 -3.6
1986 381.7 -2.6 19.8 2
1987 369.6 -12.1 16 -3.8
1988 370 0.4 18.2 2.2
1989 374.5 4.5 14.9 -3.3
1990 373.9 -0.6 17 2.1
1991 356.7 -17.2 16.1 -0.9
1992 341.6 -15.1 15.4 -0.7
1993 325.5 -16.1 14.6 -0.8
1994 294.2 -31.3 14 -0.6
1995 289 -5.2 13.4 -0.6
1996 280.9 -8.1 13 -0.4
1997 283.9 3 11 -2
1998 277 -6.9 11 0
1999 286.4 9.4 11.3 0.3
2000 286.6 0.2 11.7 0.4
2001 291.8 5.2 11.8 0.1
2002 285.4 -6.4
2003 284.6 -0.8 13
2004 271.6 -13
2005 272.1 0.5
2006 252.9 -19.2
2007 235.5 -17.4
2008 222.1 -13.4
2009 212 -10.1
2010 198.5 -13.5
Mean 406.4306451613 1.7573770492
Median 369.65 -2.6
Standard deviation 186.4819215856 178.0449535548
Slope for best linear fit (for linear regression) -5.6067613508 -0.8574775251
Multiplier for best logarithmic fit (for logarithmic regression) 0.9881171583

Relation between abortion and fertility

The third and fifth columns (abortion-adjusted birth and fertility measures) are not standard demographic variables but have simply been computed to give a better intuition about the maximum extent to which abortion availability could have directly affected fertility. In particular, note that abortions undertaken in a given year may substitute for a birth next year, so the year-to-year data has some inconsistencies. Also, because detailed age-specific abortion data was not available, the abortion-adjusted TFR does not take into account the age distribution of abortions but simply uses the abortion ratio to adjust the TFR (in the same way as for the CBR), therefore the measure is incorrect.

Year Crude birth rate (CBR) Abortion-adjusted crude birth rate (if every abortion had been substituted by a birth) Total fertility rate (TFR) Abortion-adjusted total fertility rate (Crude estimate without considering age distribution of mothers undergoing abortions) Abortion ratio Abortion rate
1947 34.65 34.65 4.566 4.566
1948 33.95 33.95 4.444 4.444
1949 33.42 36.471246 4.357 4.7547941 91.3 4.9
1950 28.42 34.365464 3.672 4.4401824 209.2 15.1
1951 25.55 33.17923 3.281 4.2607066 298.6 21.3
1952 23.6 33.08012 2.995 4.1980915 401.7 36.3
1953 21.67 34.060906 2.713 4.2642934 571.8 47.7
1954 20.27 33.362393 2.502 4.1180418 645.9 50.2
1955 19.58 33.156772 2.383 4.0353722 693.4 55.5
1956 18.63 31.600206 2.236 3.7927032 696.2 53.9
1957 17.38 29.831032 2.058 3.5323512 716.4 51.2
1958 18.18 30.613302 2.129 3.5850231 683.9 50.6
1959 17.71 29.701441 2.061 3.4565031 677.1 48.4
1960 17.33 28.824989 2.008 3.3399064 663.3 46.7
1961 16.99 28.077674 1.963 3.2440538 652.6 45.3
1962 17.14 27.609112 1.974 3.1797192 610.8 42.1
1963 17.4 27.42762 2.001 3.1541763 576.3 39.5
1964 17.81 26.937625 2.045 3.0930625 512.5 42.1
1965 18.72 27.385488 2.145 3.1379205 462.9 33.4
1966 13.85 22.1046 1.579 2.520084 596 31.5
1967 19.49 27.018987 2.224 3.0831312 386.3 28.9
1968 18.63 26.167698 2.127 2.9875842 404.6 29.1
1969 18.58 25.898662 2.119 2.9536741 393.9 28.4
1970 18.8 25.92 2.129 2.9348265 378.5 28
1971 19.21 26.311937 2.153 2.9489641 369.7 28.3
1972 19.3 26.23642 2.138 2.9063972 359.4 27.8
1973 19.35 25.830315 2.135 2.8500115 334.9 26.4
1974 18.52 24.722348 2.04 2.723196 334.9 25.6
1975 17.14 23.205846 1.9 2.57241 353.9 25.2
1976 16.34 22.261616 1.84 2.506816 362.4 25
1977 15.5 21.1637 1.786 2.4386044 365.4 24.2
1978 14.95 20.357415 1.774 2.4156558 361.7 23.4
1979 14.25 19.5738 1.751 2.4051736 373.6 23.2
1980 13.57 18.717101 1.731 2.3875683 379.3 22.6
1981 13.07 18.168607 1.726 2.3993126 390.1 22.7
1982 12.86 17.86897 1.755 2.4385725 389.5 22.5
1983 12.72 17.511624 1.788 2.4615396 376.7 21.5
1984 12.48 17.246112 1.8 2.48742 381.9 21.4
1985 11.92 16.500856 1.757 2.4322151 384.3 17.8
1986 11.45 15.820465 1.719 2.3751423 381.7 19.8
1987 11.1 15.20256 1.689 2.3132544 369.6 16
1988 10.79 14.7823 1.657 2.27009 370 18.2
1989 10.2 14.0199 1.576 2.166212 374.5 14.9
1990 9.96 13.684044 1.543 2.1199277 373.9 17
1991 9.95 13.499165 1.537 2.0852479 356.7 16.1
1992 9.8 13.14768 1.506 2.0204496 341.6 15.4
1993 9.61 12.738055 1.464 1.940532 325.5 14.6
1994 9.98 12.916116 1.507 1.9503594 294.2 14
1995 9.55 12.30995 1.426 1.838114 289 13.4
1996 9.68 12.399112 1.43 1.831687 280.9 13
1997 9.54 12.248406 1.392 1.7871888 283.9 11
1998 9.61 12.27197 1.388 1.772476 277 11
1999 9.39 12.079296 1.347 1.7327808 286.4 11.3
2000 9.49 12.209834 1.359 1.7484894 286.6 11.7
2001 9.31 12.026658 1.336 1.7258448 291.8 11.8
2002 9.16 11.774264 1.318 1.6941572 285.4
2003 8.91 11.445786 1.29 1.657134 284.6 13
2004 8.81 11.202796 1.288 1.6378208 271.6
2005 8.43 10.723803 1.254 1.5952134 272.1
2006 8.67 10.862643 1.313 1.6450577 252.9
2007 8.64 10.67472 1.331 1.6444505 235.5
2008 8.66 10.583386 1.36 1.662056 222.1
2009 8.5 10.302 1.361 1.649532 212