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Politics

Japan's abortion rule: Get consent from your sexual predator

Requirement forces rape survivors to relive trauma

A protester carries a signing reading "#MeToo" at a rally in Tokyo. Only about 14% of sexual assault cases are reported in Japan, according to the Ministry of Justice.   © Reuters

FUKUOKA -- When a woman in western Japan visited a hospital several years ago to seek an abortion after being sexually assaulted, she heard a shocking response from her doctor: "We cannot proceed without consent from the father." 

She had noticed she was pregnant about a month and a half after she was assaulted by an acquaintance. She was so shocked that she did not report the incident. She explained her situation over and over again, but the doctor refused to budge.

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