Role of Female Physicians in Women’s Health Movement in Japan: The Case of Prescription-Free Emergency Contraception During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Although the COVID-19 outbreak resulted in challenges to global public health, it also posed new challenges in people’s private lives due to the stay-at-home policy. Understandably, this measure aims to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, it influenced intimate relationships in the private sphere, such as unintended pregnancies, sexual violence, and domestic violence in younger generations, which were addressed by international organizations. At the local level, Japan reached a major turning point in the movement to improve access to emergency contraceptives by establishing the Citizen’s Initiative for Pharmaceutical Access to Emergency Contraception (CIPATEC) in June 2020. As a formal civil society organization, it was founded by three female co-chairs, who have been working since 2018. Although the social movement enabled the provision of emergency contraceptives through online medical services, their main focus, sale in pharmacies without prescriptions by doctors, requires discussion in various fields, including the state, medicine, and expertise of pharmacists. Thus, we focus on one female gynecologist, a co-chair member of the CIPATEC, as part of a case study of women’s health movement in Japan, to examine the role of female physicians in bridging needs related to women’s health from the perspectives of a woman and a physician.

Author Information
Akane Meguro, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACBPP2021
Stream: Health

This paper is part of the ACBPP2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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