Countries where abortion is illegal or restricted

JThe Supreme Court is reportedly considering overturning the monument Roe vs. Wade ruling on abortion rights, leak says draft opinion. If performed, abortion will no longer be considered a constitutional right in the United States, and each state will be free to determine the legality of the procedure.

In 1973, Roe vs. Wade gave women in the United States an absolute right to an abortion within the first three months of pregnancy, and limited rights beyond that. Although abortion is legal in one form or another in all states under Deer, access to abortion has eroded over the years in more than a dozen states. Texas, for example, passed a law in 2021 allowing residents to sue clinics and doctors for performing an abortion after six weeks. In Mississippi, the state at the center of the Supreme Court case, most abortions are banned after 15 weeks.

Read more: What to Know About the Supreme Court’s Draft Opinion Leaked Roe v. wade

The rollback of abortion rights in the United States has been mirrored in many other countries around the world, where the rise of pro-life movements has coincided with sweeping political or cultural changes. In other countries, abortion rights activists have successfully pushed for less restrictive laws as part of a broader fight for women’s rights.

Here is an overview of the countries where abortion is prohibited, restricted or has recently been legalized.

Countries where abortion is illegal

According to Center for Reproductive Rights, a global rights organization, there are 24 countries in the world where abortion is completely banned. These include Andorra and Malta in Europe, El Salvador and Honduras in Central America, Senegal and Egypt in Africa, and the Philippines and Laos in Asia. Some 90 million (5%) women of childbearing age live in countries that completely ban abortion.

Activists and activists in many of these countries continue to fight to ease restrictions on abortion. Radical laws in El Salvador, which were introduced in 1998 after campaigning by conservative sectors of the Catholic Church, have led to the conviction of dozens of women for “aggravated homicide”, even in cases of miscarriage. In March, thousands of Salvadoran women parade to demand that the ban be relaxed to allow abortions in cases of rape, when the fetus is not viable or if the woman’s life is in danger.

Countries with significant restrictions on access to abortion

More than 50 countries and regions allow abortions only when the woman’s health is at risk. (Some refer only to physical health, while others include mental health.) These include Libya, Iran, Indonesia, Venezuela and Nigeria. Others have exceptions for cases of rape, incest or fetal abnormality.

In Brazil, for example, abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, risk to the life of the mother or when the fetus suffers from anencephaly, i.e. a missing part of the brain or skull. In these cases, the woman needs the approval of a doctor and at least three other clinical experts. In August 2020, under the far-right government of President Bolsonaro, a Regulations of the Ministry of Health was introduced that requires medical professionals to collect evidence and report to the police anyone who seeks a legal termination of pregnancy after rape – which Human Rights Watch suggests is to deter rape victims.

A woman holds a European Union flag during a protest against the Constitutional Court’s ruling on tougher abortion laws on October 30, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland.

Omar Marques/Getty Images

In January 2021, a near-total ban on abortion was introduced in Poland, only allowing the procedure in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger. The ban removed the exception for an abortion in cases of severe and irreversible fetal abnormalities – the grounds for which 98% of abortions in Poland were performed in 2019. Mass protests erupted in Poland in November 2021 at the following the death of a woman at 22 weeks pregnant with sepsis, after her family said life-saving treatment had been delayed due to the ban. This month, the first pro-abortion activist to be charged under the new law was judged to provide a pregnant woman with tablets to induce miscarriage.

Countries with wider access to abortion

According to Center for Reproductive Rightsin countries from Japan to India to Canada, as well as most of Europe and the United States, more than half of women of childbearing age can safely access abortion, either on demand or for general social or economic reasons.

Seventy-two countries, including France and Germany, allow abortion subject to gestational periods, the most common being 12 weeks. Even in these countries, there are often a variety of exceptions that allow abortions to take place later. In the UK, for example, abortion is limited to 24 weeks, but if the fetus suffers from a disability such as Down syndromepregnancy can be terminated until birth.

Read more: The enormous consequences of the cancellation of Roe v. wade

While pro-life movements in countries like Poland and the United States have successfully lobbied to curtail reproductive rights, other nations are moving toward greater freedoms. Over the past 18 months, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico, traditionally conservative Catholic countries in Latin America, have decriminalized abortions following waves of protests and campaigns by women’s rights groups. and pro-choice. The most recent, Colombia, set the legal gestation limit at 24 weeks pregnant in February.

The changes have inspired other pro-choice movements in the region, dubbed the “green wave” for the colors worn by activists. Chile could become the first country in Latin America to have the right to abortion enshrined in the country’s constitution, pending the results of a vote later this year.

And in Europe, Ireland caught the world’s attention after a May 2018 popular referendum that led to the legalization of abortion for up to 12 weeks, and limited circumstances beyond that. Before the change, thousands of Irish women typically traveled to neighboring England each year for the procedure, according to the Belfast-based Journalism Project. Detailed data.

In 2020, New Zealand decriminalized abortion and extended the legal period to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Previously, two doctors had to approve an abortion, and they would only do so if there was a “serious danger” to the woman’s health.

More Must-Have Stories from TIME


contact us at [email protected]