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      Fab Support – an organisation dedicated to supporting fetal medicine in Japan and allowing pregnant women and their families to speak freely about their concerns following a prenatal diagnosis


      Science Impact, Ltd.

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          Abortion is a hot-button topic around the world and remains extremely controversial in Japan. There, abortion is only legally permitted if a patient requests one for financial or social reasons, is a victim of sexual crime or requires one for maternal health reasons. In these cases, abortion is allowed up until 21 weeks and six days gestation. Importantly, since 1996, it has been illegal to perform abortions due to fetal defects. Following this law, ethics committees announced that medical professionals should not offer first trimester risk assessments using biomarkers. The Japanese maternity-fetal care landscape is complicated to navigate, especially if one is in need of abortion services or advanced fetal medicine. For this reason, Hayashi is working to improve these circumstances, even if it means seeking knowledge and medical care internationally. Hayashi’s organisation, Fab Support, is focused on both the medical and social necessities involved in maternal-fetal care, providing a unique and crucial support system for their patients. If fetuses cannot be screened for certain conditions then they cannot be treated. Due to the absence of a screening protocol in Japan, it follows that fetal medical options are limited. Part of Fab Support’s mission is to advocate for such a screening protocol. However, the organisation is not blind to social issues surrounding fetal medicine. ‘There are many things to prepare before starting screening,’ explains Hayashi. ‘Firstly, as there are many women having terminations due to fetal conditions, we need to build a system to support them. This includes support before and after abortions. Secondly, it is also necessary to give sufficient, correct information after prenatal results. This includes medical information and information about social care and local communities.’ As part of its mission, Fab Support provides advice and support to disabled children’s schools, working to mitigate social biases. It has also helped patients to receive the best fetal therapy possible, even if this means branching out internationally, and are actively advocating for the importance of fetal medicine at the governmental level.

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          Author and article information

          Science Impact, Ltd.
          December 21 2018
          December 21 2018
          : 2018
          : 10
          : 33-35
          © 2018

          This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

          Earth & Environmental sciences, Medicine, Computer science, Agriculture, Engineering


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