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On Oct. 24, TV personality Dewi Sukarno claimed on the Kansai TV talk show “Mune Ippai Summit!” that the main cause of infertility in Japan was abortion. The topic under discussion was the proposal by the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to allow national insurance coverage for fertility treatments, and Sukarno, who thinks abortion should be banned, claimed that the most common procedure in Japan, dilation and curettage, damages the uterus, thus making it impossible for the patient to ever have babies again.

Both Kansai TV and Sukarno subsequently apologized for the remark, which was criticized for being false and inappropriate. However, it’s difficult to gauge how much her opinion reflected that of the public, or how many people who heard the comment believed it and disregarded the subsequent retraction.

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