How Many Countries Is Abortion Legal in 2020
The following table lists, in chronological order, the member states of the United Nations that have legalized abortion on demand at least in the first part of pregnancy or that have completely decriminalized abortion. As of July 2022, 65 countries have legalized or decriminalized abortion on demand. [a] Maternal health also plays a role. In 37 countries, abortion is illegal if it does not save the mother`s life. In other countries, it is illegal unless it is used to save the mother`s life or maintain her health during pregnancy. An example of this situation is an ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo does not implant in the uterus and is instead implanted in another organ (fallopian tubes, ovaries) or just outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies cannot be carried to term – the embryo cannot survive outside the uterus – and have a high probability of inflicting fatal injuries on the mother if they are not aborted. El Salvador is one of only two countries to have introduced new restrictions on abortion since the 1994 Cairo Declaration, which recognized reproductive health as essential to development. (The other is Nicaragua.) When revising the penal code after a devastating thirteen-year civil war, El Salvador amended its abortion law, which already banned the procedure in most cases, to eliminate all exceptions, imposing a blanket ban. Although a handful of other countries have equally restrictive abortion laws, El Salvador is unique in the severity of its enforcement: doctors are required to report suspicious abortions, and there is even a special department of the prosecutor`s office tasked with investigating. Between 2000 and 2011, more than 129 women were prosecuted on suspicion of abortion, and at least 13 remain in prison, some serving decades of prison sentences.
The following table shows the general details of each country`s legal position on abortion. In 2018, the Irish Parliament legalized abortion twelve weeks ago, as well as in cases where the mother`s health is at stake. Previously, Ireland had one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, codified in a 1983 constitutional amendment effectively banning the practice. The death of Savita Halappanavar in 2012 after being denied an emergency abortion sparked public debate and protests, prompting a national referendum to repeal the change. The referendum was approved with 66 percent of the vote. In 2019, abortion was legalized in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. The UK`s Abortion Act 1967, which gives doctors in England, Scotland and Wales the power to perform abortions, was extended to Northern Ireland following a vote in the British Parliament. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research group, 26 of the 50 U.S. states should take immediate action against clinics that offer abortions.
The withdrawal of abortion rights in the United States is mirrored in many other countries around the world, where the rise of pro-life movements has coincided with radical 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. There are a few exceptions that are often found in abortion laws. Legal spaces that do not have abortions on demand often allow them when the mother`s health is at stake. “Maternal health” can mean something different in several areas: for example, before December 2018, the Republic of Ireland only allowed abortion to save the mother`s life, while abortion opponents in the US argue that health exemptions are so broad that a ban becomes essentially meaningless.  According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, in countries ranging from Japan and India to Canada and most parts of Europe, more than half of women of childbearing age can safely access abortion, either upon request or on a broad social or economic basis. The Repeal of Roe v. June 24 Wade in the United States means that thirteen states that have enacted “trigger laws” designed to ban all or nearly all abortions will go into effect, some immediately, others in the coming hours. More bans are expected to come soon, and at least nine more states have laws on their books that they will likely try to enact. The United States The Supreme Court overturned the landmark decision Roe v.
Wade on abortion rights on June 24, eliminating the constitutional right in the United States to terminate a pregnancy. After nearly half a century of constitutional protection for abortion, the decision fundamentally changes access to reproductive health care in the United States, leaving each state free to determine the legality of the procedure. The last fifty years have been marked by an undeniable trend towards the liberalization of abortion rights, particularly in the industrialized world. Amid the ongoing debate over the procedure, the trend has coincided with a decline in abortion rates around the world. As nations around the world have expanded the basics of women`s access to reproductive health services, the quality and safety of abortion care has improved, as has maternal survival. Exceptions in abortion laws occur either in countries where abortion is generally illegal, or in countries where abortion is performed on demand with pregnancy restrictions. For example, if a country allows abortion on demand until week 12, it can create exemptions to this general pregnancy limit for subsequent abortions in certain circumstances.  In countries with strict abortion restrictions, however, the average abortion rate has increased by about 12 percent. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global legal advocacy group, 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. About 90 million (5%) of women of reproductive age live in countries that completely ban abortion. Abortion is completely illegal in Andorra, Aruba (territory), Republic of Congo, Curaçao (territory), Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Jamaica, Laos, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Palau, Philippines, San Marino, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Tonga and West Bank and Gaza Strip (Palestinian territories).
Note: This is a list of countries where abortion has been completely banned. For a more complete and detailed list of countries and their different legal positions on abortion, see the table at the bottom of the page. The right to safe and legal abortion is a fundamental human right protected by numerous international and regional human rights treaties and constitutions at the national level around the world. These instruments establish safe abortion in a constellation of rights, including the right to life; Freedom; Privacy; Equality and non-discrimination and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Human rights organizations have repeatedly condemned restrictive abortion laws as incompatible with human rights standards. “PEOPLE WILL TRAVEL”: What Roe v. Wade could mean for cross-border abortions Abortion is perfectly legal in Russia up to the 12th week of pregnancy, as well as up to 22 weeks in cases of rape and at any time when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. Russia legalized abortion in 1920 for some reason, making it the first country to do so.
Although a complete ban was reintroduced in 1936, this ban was lifted in 1955 and access to abortion has remained open ever since. In 2010, Russia led the world in the number of abortions per capita. 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 – a missing part of the brain or skull.