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Torii Gate, Japan

Photo by Tianshu Liu on Unsplash

OSAKA – Osaka District Court ruled Monday that the now-defunct eugenics protection law, under which people with disabilities were stopped from having children, was unconstitutional, in two separate damages suits filed by a couple and a woman in western Japan.

But the court rejected the plaintiffs’ demand for the state to pay a combined total of ¥55 million ($530,000) in damages, in the third ruling in a series of similar lawsuits filed with nine district courts and their branches across the nation.

The ruling is the second that has deemed the obsolete law unconstitutional. None of the three rulings so far has ordered the government to pay any damages to plaintiffs.

The hearing-impaired couple from Osaka Prefecture — a man in his 80s and his wife in her 70s — filed a damages suit with the court in January last year. The woman had undergone sterilization surgery in 1974, when she was nine months pregnant, after being told the procedure was a Caesarian section. Her baby died.

The 77-year-old woman, who suffers intellectual disabilities as... see more