Women's Rights?

The Politics of Eugenic Abortion in Modern Japan

Masae Kato

Masae Kato

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

245 pages | 6-1/3 x 9-1/2
Paper $74.95 ISBN: 9789053567937 Published June 2009 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
This volume explores the concept of Japanese reproductive rights and liberties in light of recent developments in disability studies. Masae Kato asks important questions about what constitutes personhood and how, in the twenty-first century, we come to understand eugenic abortion and other bioethical arguments. Tracing the origin and influence of the concept of a "right," the author places the term in local social and historical contexts in order to determine that it still carries overtones of Anglo-American philosophy, rather than universal truth. Digging deeply into Japanese debates on selective abortion, Women's Right? discusses how this charged term can be both de-Westernized and de-masculinized, especially in its appropriations by the Japanese women's movement and disability scholars.

1. Historical Background

2. Abortion Debates in the 1970s

3. On women’s selfishness and the right to abortion

4. Abortion Debates in the 1980s

5. Analysis of the Discourse on the Concept of the Individual, Political Rights in the 1980s

6. The Debate on the Notion of Individual, Political Rights after the Repeal of the Eugenic Protection Law

7. Liberated Individuals?

Conclusion: Summary of the Analysis and the Future of the Concept of ‘Rights’

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