Japan Hospital Denies LGBTQ woman support for IVF pregnancy

Japan advocacy group calling for IVF equality.
Koji Takahashi, a senior official from The Children and Families agency with Satoko Nagamura from Kodomap.

An LGBT advocacy group is urging the Japanese government for equality in healthcare after a woman in a same-sex relationship who conceived through IVF treatment was denied treatment at a hospital.

The Tokyo-based organisation Kodomap is pushing for the same level of medical support for all pregnant women.

Japan only allows women in heterosexual marriages to access IVF. This means many same-sex couples travel overseas to receive treatment.

Kodomap called on the government agency to ensure that “all women, regardless of their marital status or how they became pregnant, can receive appropriate obstetrics treatment.”

Koji Takahashi, a senior government official at the Children and Families Agency joined in the criticism of the hospital.

“Regardless of how she got pregnant, there should not be a case where an obstetrics department refuses to examine a pregnant woman.”

Takahashi added the government would be sending notices to hospitals to avoid a repeat of the situation.

The hospital that refused treatment since conducted an ethics committee assessment. The committee ruled that the situation was unprecedented and therefore, the hospital should refuse to provide services to the woman.

Satoko Nagamura, a representative of Kodomap, says these cases occur due to a lack of understanding of LGBT couples having IVF treatments.

“It is unacceptable that hospitals deny examinations just because the woman is from a sexual minority or has used a donated sperm.”

Read more:

Japan Supreme Court declares mandatory sterilisation  ‘unconstitutional’ for gender change applicants

Cheers as court in Japan rules against ban on same-sex marriage 

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Brooke Tindall

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