Talk:Abortion law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Abortion    (Inactive)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Abortion, a project which is currently considered to be inactive.
 
WikiProject Death (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Death, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Death on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Women's History (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Women's History, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Women's history and related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

Contents

India[edit]

Why india is listed as beeing on request? There is a clear contradiction between the graphic and the table.

on request - what does it mean?[edit]

It is rather difficult to follow the yeses and nos in your table. My definition of "on request" is: it is the woman herself and nobody else who is entitled to decide on an abortion.
No, not on request means: someone else decides (a doctor, a social worker, a committee etc) whether particular conditions/indications are present, allowing legal abortion (mental health, socio-economic reasons etc.)
e.g. Switzerland: according to the law, in the 1st trimester, it is the woman who decides whether she is in a state of distress. I call this "on request" (--> yes).
e.g. Germany: the same. Abortion on request is not punishable in the first trimester. The abortion is granted on request (after counseling and 3 days waiting period). Not punishable means it is allowed, hence legal. Any normal person would call this legal. The German Supreme Court has made a big confusion about moral views and law, and it has often been criticised for it. Germany certainly has abortion "on request" (--> yes in the table) and has to be shown in blue color in the map.
There would be many other Nos and Yeses in the table which need to be changed. May be I come back to this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zollikofen (talkcontribs) 16:27, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

I would like to see a section explaining briefly the issue of whether abortion is available by choice or granted by a third party like a doctor. I came here to find that information and was surprised that it wasn't in the article. (And I don't have enough expertise to write it.) Like how in many countries the law states that an abortion requires a doctor's approval, merely a request by the woman is not enough. So even when it's really just done by her request officially it's logged as because of "socioeconomic" or "(mental) health" reasons. And that in many places a woman needs to get a permission from two doctors. Perhaps also a remark on how these regulations are actually followed or not would be good. (As was found out in the UK study on how "NHS staff routinely forge abortion consent forms" in 2012.)
--Gemena (talk) 07:37, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
The info you would like to see detailed varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; from country to country or, in the US, from state to state. In any given jurisdiction, the specific detail you are after may not be explicitly detailed out in the law.
For one example (Canada), the current situation seems to be "The right to liberty... guarantees a degree of personal autonomy over important decisions intimately affecting his or her private life. ... The decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is essentially a moral decision and in a free and democratic society, the conscience of the individual must be paramount to that of the state." (see Abortion in Canada, and R. v. Morgentaler, and pages 36-37 of this.
For another example (Ireland; see Abortion in the Republic of Ireland) on seemingly related legal principles re the interpretation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case A, B and C v Ireland that "Article 8 cannot... be interpreted as conferring a right to abortion". Going beyond the portion of the decision quoted in that last linked WP article, however, I see that the court went on to say, "... the Court finds that the prohibition in Ireland of abortion where sought for reasons of health and/or well-being about which the first and second applicants complained, and the third applicant’s alleged inability to establish her qualification for a lawful abortion in Ireland, come within the scope of their right to respect for their private lives and accordingly Article 8. The difference in the substantive complaints of the first and second applicants, on the one hand, and that of the third applicant on the other, requires separate determination of the question whether there has been a breach of Article 8 of the Convention."
In the example re Ireland, note that the court was not considering the right of an Irish woman to have an abortion in Ireland but, rather, the right of an Irish woman to travel to England for purposes of obtaining an abortion in that jurisdiction.
For each individual jurisdiction it may be necessary to do quite a bit of research to find out what the situation is in that level of detail. For most jurisdictions, such research is likely not to be as straightforward as in those two examples. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 19:07, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Indeed it is a complex issue. But I think the article should at least have a short section mentioning this aspect. At the moment there's nothing. It should be briefly explained that this is one of the aspects involved in abortion law and practices, and that it varies, and maybe give one or two examples. After all, this is not supposed to be a conclusive guide to legal practices in every country but an encyclopedia article covering all the basics on the topic. So you don't have to know everything in order to write something about it. Omitting it completely seems weird.
--Gemena (talk) 10:04, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
OK, I'll take the first step. The currently cited UN source [1] says that abortion is legal "on request" in Tunisia, South Africa, China, Dem. People’s Rep. of Korea, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Singapore, Viet Nam, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Georgia, Turkey, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Ukraine, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, TFYR Macedonia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Cuba, Mexico, Guyana, Canada, the United States (this is not the case in all U.S. States, though that information is not presented in that source), and Australia. IMHO, more research is needed to clarify this via cited reliable sources before this information is made a part of the article. That, of course, doesn't answer the question "what does on request mean?". The answer to that question is that it means different things in different jurisdictions. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 11:05, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Hey! That looks like an excellent source for this. I think in this general article things should be kept simple, and then it can just link to the articles on each country's legislation or something. So I would rather like to see a generic passage about this than some complex table. Something like this:
Permitting abortion
The grounds on which abortions are allowed vary. In most countries abortion is allowed in order to save a woman's life. Other commonly accepted reasons are preserving physical or mental health. [… blah blah …] In North America, in most European countries, and in many others, abortions can be granted on the basis of woman's request.
Whether or not these laws are followed in practice is another matter. For example, in the United Kingdom abortions are officially granted only on the basis health or social-economic reasons[2] which have to be verified by two doctors. [3] However, Care Quality Commission's report in 2012 found that several NHS clinics were circumventing this law allowing a single doctor to grant the abortion. [4]
There, that's a start. :)
--Gemena (talk) 17:12, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
That would be fine with me. I put that table in there as a replacement for a bunch of larger tables containing somewhat dated information based on earlier sources. I recognize that the table I put in is messy, and I would welcome improvement -- including improvement by replacement of the table (which did take me some time to put together) with well crafted prose. My prose is generally not very well crafted, so I'll leave it to other editors who are better wordsmiths than I to make that improvements. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 22:26, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Canada and decriminalization[edit]

Abortion only became decriminalized in Canada in 1988, although i'm not sure how to explain the way it worked...you can take a look at the Abortion in Canada page to get the idea. Basically there was an exception to the law provided for the health of the mother, which became wider over time as some came to include mental health, although access was very unever as a result. Also before that abortions for exteem health reasons were done, but they were not called as such from what i understand (i didn't do a hell of a lot of research on that but when i was looking at Therapeutic Abortion Committees i came across a reference to doctors previously meeting in even larger groups then 3 to cover their asses....but the chance in law did effectively allow abortion so how to you get that in without being real complicated? Also currently there is no law whatsoever on abortions in Canada, although access to abortion is still an issue.--Marcie 15:57, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Abortion with respect to 14th Amendment[edit]

It would be benificial to add a section on the highlights of Roe v Wade and other major decisions on abortion. Also how the Supreme courts view/interpret this issue with respect to right to life. Also there seems to be no mention of the laws eliminating "Partial-Birth" Abortion.

Thanks i'll go take a look there--Marcie 21:49, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Forced and or Coerced Abortion as family planning[edit]

I haven't been able to make a confirmation as to current practices with reputable sources, but in the past the People's Republic of China, in enforcing the one child policy, have engaged in seemingly state-sponsored but not necessarily legislated activity in forcing peasent women to abort their fetuses. From CNN: [5]. There were a lot of other links off of Google but I don't trust their impartiality. The thing I do know is that the combination of poor contraceptive availability, abortion on demand, and the one child policy in China have made gender selection such a problem the government in Beijing has passed a law banning abortion based on gender.

Anyway, I wonder if there are better sources, and perhaps other countries, which still engage in forced abortions?

Buoren 07:14, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Nowadays, forced abortions are outlawed in the PRC, though this law seems not to be widely enforced... --Roentgenium111 (talk) 14:58, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

On Jamaica[edit]

The chart states that abortion is not permissable whatsoever in Jamaica. However the United Nations (www.un.org/esa/population/publications/abortion/doc/jamaica.doc) suggests that abortions are permissible in Jamaica under certain conditions.

Problem with the chart[edit]

In the UK entry it indicates that abortions are illegal if it's due to rape. However, it can be argued (and i'm sure it has been in the past) that the birth of a child from an act of rape would cause mental anguish to the woman, and therefore make it legal for the abortion to happen. On a side note, I believe that an abortion has in the past been carried out because of a ski-ing holiday, what is the definiton of on-demand? The chart is inherently inflexible to deal with all the different legal aspects. -- Joolz 00:22, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Abortion in the United Kingdom indeed seems to argue that abortions due to rape are legal.
Another problem I noticed with the table was according to Abortion in Sweden abortions are illegal after 22weeks, but the table doesn't reflect this. -- Joolz 22:20, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Vatican[edit]

Having the Vatican as a country on this chart is absurd. It is not a country and it does not have any significant female population or hospitals. 189.138.230.139 (talk) 17:58, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it is a country, though the smallest in the world.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 14:59, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Canada and the US

- The narrative explains that Canada has no legal restriction on abortion and the US has some restriction, but they both look the same on the map and chart, except for "details" on the chart. It would seem the map and chart should distinguish between no restrictions and some restrictions, at least by having a different colour for "no legal restriction" on the map for countries that have none, e.g. Canada.

--Diane1976 (talk) 17:34, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Cyber Stalking by SqueakBox[edit]

I hae repaired political hijacking and restored neutral discussion. Agwiii 01:12, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This has escalated from vandalism to cyber stalking with SqueakBox following me around on Wikipedia and vandalizing each edit or contribution. I have reported her to the PTB. ==> Agwiii 01:54, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC) I am not a woman. I have not done anything wrong. You are not backing your allegations with hard fact. Who on earth are the PTB, --SqueakBox 02:00, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Abortion law in US and Germany[edit]

Being directed to this article, I repost what I said on Talk: Abortion, regarding the abortion map colouring of the US and Germany.

I agree with Tainter, that the US should be pink for "legal on demand". The restrictions cited by Tznkai are really not touching upon the exceptions cited on the map (and are rather periphery anyway.
As for Germany, the situtation is difficult: Abortion is "legal" only for rape and mother's health, but under certain provisions (obligatory counselling) it will not be punished if done during the first trimester. How to paint this? Str1977 18:06, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

I have done the appropriate changes regarding the German law. It's a bit difficult in the last column, so I "overstepped" the limits of the legend. It'll be even more difficult to include this into a map. Str1977 19:08, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

You're right about America. The puce colour is for countries that make specific socioeconomic provisions for abortion in their legal codes and allow it as such -- and America, for all its state and federal level restrictions, doesn't seem to do this. I'm making another series of maps to deal with the state-by-state restrictions in America (see Abortion in the United States). As for Germany, though, most sources I have consulted are satisfied that it fits the designation "abortion on demand" because it allows abortion in the first trimester if conditions are met. As for whether it is technically illegal there, even in the first trimester, I wouldn't even know how to begin to address this and other such legislative complexities without the map's legend having 40 colours. --Kyd 21:38, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Kyd, apart from rape and mother's health abortion is not legal in Germany (another exception for "eugenic reasons" was declared unconstitutional). The other thing is that a woman seeking an abortion in the 1st trimester can have one if she first undergoes obligatory counselling. Such an abortion is considered "against the law, but not punishable". I know it's a tricky law and frankly I don't like it since it suggests to too many people that abortion is legal.
As for the map, I have been saving your map for private use and played around with it and turned the US pink and covered Germany with stripes. If you want, I can send it to you via e-mail (I don't know how to upload). Str1977 21:54, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Read the U.N.'s dossier on Germany's abortion law at Abortion Policies: A Global Review and it is in agreement with what you've been saying -- except that, to the question of abortion on demand, it answered "yes." But the map, foremost, is a visual representation of current laws, not the observation of such laws. Spain, too, seems to be similar quandary: the practice of abortion seems liberal but the law not. Should I colour Germany periwinkle -- illegal with exception for rape, life, and health -- until we can devise a solution to the issue that will be both concise and visually appealing? I'm liking the stripes thing, but, unfortunately, I'm worried the white borders plus stripes would make the national boundries more confusing (the solid colours are a lot more visually coherant on a map with countries on such a small scale). Perhaps a new colour to indicate countries in which abortion is illegal but the law is unobserved and/or unenforceable? --Kyd 22:43, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, the UN dossier describes the actual effects of the law, which is unfortunately abortion on demand, though only after obligatory counselling.
The law on this is an akward compromise found in 1995, when a new law was to be adopted after the reunification (until then, there were still 2 laws - one for the West and one for the East). The basis for this "illegal but not punishable" stems from the supreme court's ruling in the 1970s, which ruled a general legalisation in the 1st trimester unconstitutional. It also said that state had to uphold the right to life, but that penal law was not the only way to do this.
It's not so much that the law is not followed (though it's wrongly perceived in wide circles) - it's that the law is 2double-dealing".
I have managed to upload the file, which you an observe here: AbortionLawsMap05.jpg.
Germany is striped (at least it's supposed to be stripes) pink (like Canada) and fair blue (like Poland). Str1977 23:25, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
I edited the map to incorporate your idea. The legend now contains a "striped" option: illegal but unenforced. The colours of the stripes can be used to indicate whatever the particulars are of "in law" and "in practice" in the country. This configuration, however, might be more difficult with the smaller countries, in light of the scale of the map. --Kyd 00:05, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

Could the graphic be modified to include the variations in US law. South Dakota comes to mind. savidan(talk) (e@) 23:31, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Abortion is essentially legal on demand across the United States right now, if you're willing to allow for some elasticity of the term 'on demand.' The restrictions that exist are for notification, education, waiting periods, etc. At the end of the day, though, the reason for the pregnancy is a factor that cannot be taken as a cause for diminishing the legality as far as I know. The Carhart decision could theoretically be taken to argue that under a certain combination of circumstances, the reason for pregnancy could have an effect - but I don't know of any law in effect that fits this. As far as the South Dakota act, it basically isn't enforceable until the courts reach a decision. --DMG413 02:15, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

The legal situation in Germany is actually quite simple: Abortion is illegal, except after rape or in case of danger to the mother's life or physical and psychological health. Fetal deformation aka "eugenische Indikation" was declared unconstitutional in 1974. Socio-economic factors only affect determination of danger to the mother, they do not justify abortion in themselves. Abortion for any other reason is an offence. But: By §218a(1), if termination of a pregnancy is procured satisfying the criteria, the punishable offence "shall not be deemed fulfilled".

As regards the classification scheme, I suggest getting away from the question of legality. Abortion is an embattled process, and everybody has a stake in the interpretation of abortion as "legal" or "illegal". The interesting question is: What are the conditions for access, and what are the consequences of successful abortions? Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 14:53, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Abortion on demand is available in Germany, the UN agrees: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/2007_Abortion_Policies_Chart/2007_WallChart.pdf The colour shoud be changed to dark blue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.235.155.150 (talk) 14:22, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

All people, who write so far don't have did not look in the leagl source given by former discussions on this subject. Abortion is in general illgal in Germany in ALL Cases. German law works in another way, than many leagl systems of the world. So if somebody here is a trained german laywer, paralegal, public adminstrator and looks at the arragment of the law, he or she will see that just the punishment is outtaken in these cases. Abortion itself stays an illeagal act. Therefore all maps, which try to explain the legal sitution of abortion are misleading their topic in the case of Germany. Secondly any UN Papers etc. are no legal source. Please just work with LEGAL SOURCES. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.10.14.242 (talk) 18:13, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Abortion on demand and the yeses[edit]

I notice the are a lot of yeses including for abortion on demand e.g. Canada. Since there is a special category for first and second trimester, this implies that the yes means at any stage. This should be clarified (yes means at any stage. Is abortion on demand really legal at any stage in Canada or many of the other countries with a yes? I suspect the answer is probably no, except perhaps for China? For that matter, some of the other yeses are probably incorrect as they probably only applicable to the first and second trimester. I believe in NZ the yeses are incorrect (see Abortion in New Zealand or at very least misleading as abortions after the second trimester (or 20 weeks more correctly) are much more difficult so we need a way to make this clear. Nil Einne 17:48, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Another thing. A number of countries such as New Zealand and I believe UK don't technically have abortion on demand. However they do have abortion for mental health reason. Generally speaking, this has been intepreted in these countries that if it's an unwanted pregnancy i.e. you really want an abortion (not because you're being pressued) you qualify so IMHO we need to make it clear even though they don't have it legally, they do more or less have it in practice. This is perhaps somewhat similar to Germany and other countries where it is described as illegal but not punished except that it's quite a tricky legal issue. While abortions on demand might be illegal, abortions for mental health reasons are not. Whether these 'on demand' mental health reasons qualify is usually untested in court. Also, I don't know about in Germany but in NZ and I think UK, the way the laws are and abortions work probably means the Drs would be the ones pubished not the women. This depends on the country in question too I believe since in NZ the laws are rather strict but more liberal in most Australian states and the United Kingdom for example. When the law is intepreted liberally but legally it's a tricky situation, this intepretation generally has two components. The first is the willingness of the Drs involved in agreeing to the abortion to provide it 'on demand' for mental health reasons. The second is the governmentness unwillingness to prosecute or sue for these 'on demand' mental health abortion and likely the inability for anti-abortion groups to sue or prosecute. The opinions of the courts may come in to it to since they are likely the ones who deny anti abortion groups the ability to sue or prosecute. Of course, mental health reasons is not intepreted so liberally in all countries. In Malaysia for example, it's generally not although I've heard people say that if you got a private hospital, it can usually be done... Nil Einne 17:48, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree, many of the "Yes"es seem dubious and should probably be replaced by "1st" in most cases. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 15:02, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Mozambique[edit]

Something really makes no sense in the chart. It says "Yes" to "on demand" for mozambique, yet the color map says no and the same chart says "no" to rape and low social class cases. YoungSpinoza 06:28, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Laws might have changed. The table is based on data from the U.N.'s Abortion Policies: A Global Review (c. 1997, I think), and, although users update the information here, it's easy to imagine a country being overlooked. I used secondary references in making the map (mid-2005). Also, mistakes will be made when dealing with such a large volume of data. I'll look into it. -Kyd 21:50, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Brazil and "International status of Abortion Law" map[edit]

The map referred above doesn't reflect abortion's real status in Brazil. Besides the exceptions listed on the map, according to Brazil's Penal Code, article 128, abortion isn't punished, when induced by a doctor, if pregnancy results from rape and the pregnant consents .

Besides, "National Laws" table on "Abortion Law" article is correct, so the map mencioned is in contraditcion with the article's content. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 201.32.209.108 (talk • contribs) 17:00, 23 February 2006.

You're right. Thanks for the pointer. I have, correspondingly, modified the designation to, "Illegal with exception for rape, maternal life, health, and/or mental health." The "and/or" is of special significance here as Brazil is one of those countries which allows abortion for life endangerment and rape but not health. Perhaps a new colour designation is warranted? -Kyd 04:53, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

"pregnancy is not parenthood"[edit]

User:Alienus recently changed all occurrences of the word "mother" in this article to "woman." I'd like to solicit opinions on which term should be used.

"Mother" is a commonly used word to refer to a pregnant woman in medical literature (see, for example, (PMID 10104769]), (PMID 9397758), (PMID 11645667) or hundreds of other articles. Contrariwise, some commentators have discouraged the use of this term (PMID 12696783).

My personal opinion is that I'd rather see Wikipedia follow common English usage than to use this as a political posture. Any thoughts? Nandesuka 22:23, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

If a pregnant woman gets an abortion, is she still a mother? It is a grey area, however I believe using the word 'woman' as opposed to 'mother' is more technical. --Andrew c 22:30, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Indeed. Another issue is maintaining NPOV.

This is not the first time I've removed excess motherhood from the various abortion articles, and I've actually been lauded for doing so. In contrast, Nandesuka has a history of negative interaction with me, which may color his perspective. Alienus 11:49, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

"Mother" is certainly commonly used. I've often read things about the unborn child/fetus getting nourishment etc. from the mother. The "woman" is not common usage, and seems too far removed from the child/fetus. The "woman" could be any woman. Mother makes it clear which woman it is. And, Alienus, rather than making personal remarks about other users, which you seem to do rather a lot, could you think about whether any of your views could possibly colour your perspective? AnnH 12:02, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that "woman" is accurate and neutral, while "mother" is neither. A woman who has a desired pregnancy is expecting to be a mother, so calling her one now is just a little bit of harmless sloppiness. For that matter, calling an embryo or fetus that is being carried to term a "baby" is jumping the gun, but hardly unfair. In contrast, a woman with an undesired pregnancy will likely abort it, which means that she will not become a mother and the embryo will not become a baby. That's the accuracy problem.
The neutrality problem is that there is a tendency by certain partisans to use maximally emotive language so as to distort thinking. When referring to an egg that has just been fertilized in a petri dish, they call it a "beautiful little unborn baby". And when referring to a teenager who was violently raped by her uncle and has an early chemical abortion, they call her a "mother", then a "murderer". To avoid this bias, articles on abortion try very hard to stick to neutral, medical terminology.
Coincidentally, you've made a career of supporting and enabling people like Nandesuka, which colors your perspective as well. If you pursue this further and continue in your current vein, I will wind up escalating this; I will under no circumstances drop it. I'm quite apathetic about circumcision, but I have very little tolerance for intentional distortions regarding pregnancy. Coincidentally, I also have very little tolerance for meddling and biased admins. Alienus 12:17, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I am not aware that I have ever edited the same articles as Nandesuka, and the only encounter I recall having with him was when we disagreed over the block of another user, in which case we discussed it civilly, neither of us resorting to name calling, spitting, or accusations of bad faith. AnnH 12:23, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Alienus, please review WP:AGF and WP:NPA. Ad hominem arguments don't help matters. Thanks.
Focusing on the arguments, rather than the people, the point I am trying to make is that the word "mother" is used in the medical literature to describe a gravid woman, regardless of her intentions. A simple PubMed search will show this. I agree with you that we should try to avoid words that introduce bias, but one can also introduce bias by using unnatural terminology. For example, if we replaced all instances of "mother" with "womyn", or "human being who has two X chromosomes," that would clearly be clinically correct but so far removed from normal English usage as to introduce a different sort of bias. Obviously, the gap between "mother" and "woman" is much smaller. But we should be following standard English usage, not forging new standards. Nandesuka 12:26, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Nandesuka. AnnH 12:38, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the WP:NPA call, but I do not find the use of 'mother' appropriate or neutral in regards to women undergoing abortions. I know this is not inclusive, but [6] and [7] neither use the word 'mother' but instead use 'woman'. I would be interested in finding this literature that uses 'mother' in an abortion context. Do you have any links?--Andrew c 15:54, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Andrew, see the PubMed links I put in the introduction to this section -- I found those on the very first search I did. Nandesuka 16:11, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
Note also that many complications and procedures that fall before birth (or termination) are performed by maternal-fetal medicine specialists. This includes termination of pregnancy. On the other hand, not everyone always uses the term "mother." The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists seems to favor the term "pregnant woman"; see [8]. Lastly, I really would not want to be in the room with someone who told a previously childless woman who just miscarried that she is not a mother because she did not go through a live birth, since I suspect the blood stains would be hard to clean. Given the diversity of opinion, I think we'd be justified in mixing in the terms "mother", "woman", and "pregnant woman", selecting as appropriate to avoid stale writing. Nandesuka 16:24, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not interested in personally attacking anyone, but I'm also unwilling to hide the existence of prior negative interactions that reveal partisanship and suggest a current bias. Take it in context. And, for the record, Ann chimed in to support Nandesuka after he and his buddies maneuvered to have me banned on a misinterpretation of 3RR. In short, this is not a case of two neutral people sharing neutral opinions. Both are on the record as religious partisans, and both have worked together against me personally.

Anyhow, I bet you also wouldn't want to be in the room with a rape victim who just had an abortion when someone calls her a "mother". The simple fact is that, for all the reasons you've already read, "mother" is an inappropriate and partisan term when applied within the context of pregnant women getting abortions. The phrase "pregnant woman", you may notice, is painfully neutral, while "mother" is not. It is also, as has been pointed out, not accurate in cases of abortion.

Frankly, the argument here is overwhelming and you have no basis. If you continue to disagree, I suggest an RFC. I will not back down on this issue unless you have a much more powerful argument than you've offered thus far. Alienus 18:19, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Your claim that I am "on the record as a religious partisan" is ludicrous and incorrect. You are free to "not back down" all you like. This being a wiki, the other editors of the article are free to discuss and take action, regardless of whether or not you "back down." We've already had some interesting discussion on this topic, and I look forward to more. Nandesuka 18:57, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Gravida is a medically neutral term that could be used.Killua 18:23, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Abortion Law map[edit]

I don't think the map is accurate. The main inaccuracy seems to be France. It lists France as allowing abortion on demand but in France abortion is technically illegal, but a woman can say she's in "distress" during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy to obtain a legal one, so it's a variant of the health exception. JoshuaZ 06:33, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

  • The Abortion in France article seems to point more in the direction of available on demand (at least for the first 10 weeks). That said, the map has to effectively categorize each country - if everything in the map were to be a literal description of the law, there would probably have to be about 200 different colors used. --DMG413 18:10, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
According to The World's Abortion Laws, Abortion Laws of the World, and Abortion Policies: A Global Review, abortion is allowed on request within the first 10 weeks so long as the women specifies that she is in a state of distress. Due to the reason DMG413 stated above, the map considers all countries which allow access to abortion in the first trimester without imposing any circumstantial restrictions as permitting it on demand. -Severa | !!! 18:59, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

You should also consider situations "de facto" and not only "de iure" as in Spain, where there is no a really restriction to abortion during the first twelve weeks. Only a certificate from a psicologist confirming risk of depression is needed. No psicologist has ever been prosecuted for this matter. The abortion rate in Spain is similar to the rest of Europe. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 196.206.242.166 (talkcontribs) 18:23, 26 May 2006.

The red colour for the countries wich have ilegal abortion is seems like a that would be a negative thing. Maybe it best to change to other unrelated color like dark dark green or violet. In the particular case of Chile, the abortion is legal in the case of health risk of the mother, but the doctors call this "Pregnant Interrupcy" (Interrupción del Embarazo). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.74.176.39 (talk) 22:05, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

North America[edit]

You'll find that Central America is in North America, so the title "North & Central America" doesn't make sense, much as "Canada & Ontario" wouldn't make sense. WilyD 20:52, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

You are completely ignoring the more common usage of North America. The North American continent does include both the North and Central American regions. In fact, because there are multiple uses for the word "North America", I believe it is MORE accurate to list both North and Central to avoid confusion. --Andrew c 22:12, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not ignoring the fact that North America is sometimes used to refer to only parts of North America, but it is not the most common usage, nor is it correct. The article when listed properly as solely "North America" induces no confusion, and anyone can plainly see that the most correct and most common usage is being used. One would be hard pressed to see the heading North America, see a list of North American countries and become confused. To say North & Central America is less accurate and more confusing - to be avoided in a serious encyclopaedia. WilyD 22:54, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Compare to the continental list at Homosexuality laws of the world ("North and Central America") and Use of death penalty worldwide ("North America, Caribbean"). Geopolitical regions are "lumped" together. "Central America" is just a descriptive term applied to a part of a greater region, North America. No one who uses the terms "Iberia" or "Scandinavia" is claiming that those nations are not a part of Europe. -Severa (!!!) 02:15, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
But would you make a listing called "Scandenavia and Europe"? WilyD 16:28, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
WilyD, you just got told. Move along. --Haizum μολὼν λαβέ 09:03, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Mental health[edit]

I mentioned this before but perhaps I rambled too much so it was ignored. However I think we need further clarification of mental health issues. It's intepretation varies significantly between countries. In some countries, it more or less means on demand. For example, in NZ you will be given conselling and support and do need the certification of two doctors but will generally be given an abortion if you want one.

On the other hand, in other countries like e.g. Malaysia which according to the table allows for mental health reasons in the first trimester, it's not really on demand at all. While I believe it varies between hospital and there is somewhat of an underground in private hospital where it may very well be on demand, it's generally interpreted much more conservatively

At the very least, even if we don't clarify by country, we should mention this in the intro

Nil Einne 17:42, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes vs * and #[edit]

The fact that we have * and # for the table, implies that yes means there is little or no restriction based on trimester. However it appears in some cases, people have missed the * and # even when there are trimester based restrictions. For example, in New Zealand Abortion in New Zealand [9], there are additional restrictions after the 20th week but the at the moment, it suggests there are no restrictions based on the table at the moment, this is not clearly the case. I think we need a fact check and perhaps we can insert a hidden comment in the table to remind people that yes implies there are no trimester based restrictions. Either that or we make a new category for when it's a yes but trimester based restrictions are not noted in the table Nil Einne 18:12, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

  • The introduction states that additional restrictions (social, economic, geographical, as well as legal) may exist. The table is meant to encompass the spirit of the law as far as each circumstance. If it were to encompass every nuance of every restriction of every law (various kinds of waiting periods, information disclosure, medical assent, notification, etc.) in every jurisdiction, I suspect we would run out of letters, numbers and other symbols to reference. Judging by the Abortion in New Zealand page, the first three columns (life, physical health and mental health) are correct as "yes", while the next two columns (rape and fetal defects) need to be changed to #, which I'll change in a minute. --DMG413 02:11, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
    • I'm not saying we should specify every nuance but IMHO we should use the symbols properly. If we have a * #, this implies to me that yes means the country is less restrictive then 2nd trimester. IMHO, it doesn't make sense to have the * and # if we don't always use them. The other alternative IMHO is to include a special symbol when trimester restictions are not noted in the table (doesn't make much sense IMHO but if people are really reluctant to specify in the table for whatever reason or simply do away with them and just yes or no. I still think a fact check would help (I'm not saying anyone has to do it, just proposing) and also think a hidden comment may be useful to remind people of the * and # but whatever if others feel it doesn't matter because we already say the table might not be accurate I'm not going to argue about it Nil Einne 15:23, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Map question[edit]

Why is South Dakota coloured in as illegal? (except for mother's life) The South Dakota bill cannot be enforced unless Roe v Wade is struck down. The map should be fixed. Jareand 00:15, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

In general, the map reflects the law which is on the books, not the observation or enforcement thereof. H.B. 1215 is fact in South Dakota regardless of its current constitutionality. -Severa (!!!) 10:48, 17 June 2006 (UTC)
Aren't there a number of other states with old pre-Roe laws that were never actually removed from the books? I'll look into it. --BCSWowbagger 06:32, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Actually, Jareand is right. I misunderstood the nature of the bill. It was my original understanding that H.B. 1215 was a current, active law, which S.D. intended to enforce immediately regardless of federal abortion law — apparently, according to the South Dakota abortion law, it's actually a "trigger law" which would take effect if and when Roe was overturned. I'm still a little confused on the issue, though, because I've also read that HB 1215 will be enforceable once it clears any court challenges (even if that's before Roe is ever overturned). But, as the issue has also been raised on the abortion law map Talk page, I'm going to revert S.D. until the confusion is resolved.

Potentially useful links:

  • Abortion Bans: map and detailed chart of state abortion bans from the NARAL site. I presume this includes both recent, pre-emptive "trigger" bans and old, pre-Roe "defunct" bans.
  • State Abortion Laws: discusses unrepealed pre-Roe laws but might be outdated.
  • Abortion: Laws and Regulations: ReligiousTolerance.org page with info on recent state initiatives to ban abortion.

-Severa (!!!) 11:07, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Map[edit]

Spain-Portugal[edit]

Spain has a more liberal abortion law than Portugal. During the last years many women of Portugal went for abortion to Spain, where a more liberal abortion law exist. And February 2007 will be a referendum in Portugal over a more liberal abortion law.GLGerman 17:52, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Vanuatu table entry[edit]

I don't know much about this subject, but it strikes me as unlikely that Vanuatu should have a "No" for mother's life and a "yes" for mother's health. Is this an error? Gnfnrf 00:35, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Abortion on demand in Australia[edit]

I have to dispute the 'Varies' entry for abortion on demand in Australia. It is true that the ACT has legalized abortion (and it remains legal in other jurisdictions as well), but I don't see that the ACT has legalized abortion on demand. - Richardcavell 06:58, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Spain[edit]

The Spanish parliament just approved an abortion law much more liberal: http://www.ippf.org/en/News/Intl+news/Spanish+lawmakers+vote+to+ease+abortion+law.htm It will pass Senate in a few months and take effect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.198.40.118 (talk) 13:27, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I have made the following changes: Under "On Request" I have entered "1st" for the 1st trimester as the Spanish law now allows for abortion upto 14 weeks, I have entered "Yes" in the Socio-economic factors column as this is in fact irrelevant under the new law. Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35565952/ns/world_news-europe/ Angryafghan (talk) 20:33, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Portugal[edit]

Portugal appears set to allow abortion on demand in the first ten weeks BBC News story Mostlyharmless 22:49, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the information. We'll update the map and table when the law officially takes effect. -Severa (!!!) 08:26, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Free abortion[edit]

Should we put a note for countries when abortion is free in certain circumstances????—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 65.95.158.189 (talkcontribs) 03:20, 17 April 2007.

Do you have any sources for that information?-Andrew c 13:15, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
[10] - Netherlands, free for citizens. Also, [11] - Bulgaria, free for therapeutic abortions and in case of rape, example referenced to See Anika Rahman & Laura Katzive, Central and Eastern Europe: Recent Trends in Abortion Law, 373, 385, (1999). Pelargonium 20:50, 28 April 2007 (UTC)Pelargonium

Free until which week?[edit]

An important piece of information is lacking in the tables: until which week abortion is free (for countries which have free abortion). This is an aspect which, among other things, explains some differences in the abortion discussions of various countries. In Denmark, the limit is 12 weeks, France: 10 weeks, Sweden: 18 weeks, Britain: 28 weeks, so it varies a lot. As far as I could see from a quick glance at the Abortion in the United States article, there is no fixed legal limit in the US, but courts usually set the limit to 24 to 28 weeks. Now, this is a part of the bigger picture which we Europeans miss when we read about the fiery debate in the US. I know it is quite some work to gather information about all the national rules, but the question is quite important. --Sasper 17:11, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Mexico[edit]

Yesterday, abortion was legalized in Mexico City. Also, some states like Yucatán have different laws (allowing abortion for socioeconomic reasons) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 148.241.190.43 (talk) 15:08, 25 April 2007 (UTC).

Nothern Ireland part of the uk[edit]

I've noticed how the United Kingdom (refering to england/scotland/wales) and Nothern Ireland are listed seperately on the chart yet technically they are the same country and this is sopposed to be "abortion legislation of the world's nations". And the UK is one nation.

The abortion law of Northern Ireland is different to mainland Britain, and shouldn't be coloure blue on the map. Abortion may only be procured in circumsatances where the woman's life or mental health is in danger. See this page on the matter. 109.78.49.41 (talk) 19:48, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Similar to how in Australia has different laws by region, wouldn't it be 'more correct' to include Northern Ireland with the United Kingdom and change the chart to " Yes/Yes/Yes/Varies/Varies/Varies/No"?? 69.158.142.183 06:31, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Any Objections? MonkeyBoy111 03:49, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Since the UK is one State with locally varying laws, shouldn't it be painted the same color as Mexico and Australia? 189.79.77.87 (talk) 22:36, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Legality of abortion in Germany[edit]

Currently, the article states that abortion on demand as well as abortion for reasons of mental health and socio-economic factors are illegal but not punished in Germany. I would disagree. To explain my disagreement, a brief explanation of German criminal doctrine. Unfortunately, I only have German legal literature to back my explaination. Here it goes:
In Germany, an intentional accomplished crime consists of three main elements:
  1. Unrechtstatbestand or external and internal elements of the offense, i.e. Objektiver Tatbestand, or actus reus as external and Vorsatz, or intention as internal element
  2. Illegality - The German legal term is Rechtswidrigkeit and since the German criminal doctrine is different from the criminal doctrine of the English speaking world, illegality logically means something different than the usual English term "ilegal".
  3. Guilt
If the first element of a crime, the external and internal elements of the offense, is satisfied , the actor is punishable for his deeds because the illegality and guilt are presumed to be fulfilled as well, unless the actor provides legal justification or exculpation, thus negating either both or either of the last two elements (illegality and guilt). In order for an intentional accomplished deed to be a crime, all three elements must be fulfilled. Source: Wessels/ Beulke, Strafrecht, Allgemeiner Teil (Criminal law, General teachings), 2004, passim and p. 338
Sec. 218 Criminal Code contains the external element of the offense of abortion. Source: Wessels/ Hettinger, Strafrecht, Besonder Teil 1, Straftaten gegen Persönlichkeits- und Gemeinschaftswerte (Criminal law, Particular crimes 1, Crimes against personal and public interests), 2004, p. 66
According to Sec. 218, a termination of a pregancy is to be punished.
However, according to Sec. 218a, the elements of the offense under Sec. 218 have not been fulfilled, if the pregnant woman requests the termination of pregnancy and demonstrated to the physician with a certificate pursuant to Section 219 subsection (2), sent. 2, that she had counseling at least three days before the operation.
Since the external element of the offense is not fulfilled if the woman bears the said certificate, there is no crime at all. Same result: Wessels/ Hettinger, Strafrecht, Besonder Teil 1, Straftaten gegen Persönlichkeits- und Gemeinschaftswerte (Criminal law, Particular crimes 1, Crimes against personal and public interests), 2004, p. 70
This is also logical as the external element of the offense is, as above-mentioned, an integral element of crime.
Thus, the statement that abortion is illegal but not punished is not logically tenable if "illegal" is meant to convey the meaning that abortion on demand is a crime. While it would be possible to make an argument that abortion on demand complies to the German concept of "Rechtswidrigkeit", since it is possible that something is considered a "Rechtswidrigkeit" or "Illegality" without fulfilling the criteria of the external and internal elements of the offense (Source: Wessels/ Hettinger, Strafrecht, Besonder Teil 1, Straftaten gegen Persönlichkeits- und Gemeinschaftswerte (Criminal law, Particular crimes 1, Crimes against personal and public interests), 2004, p. 70), it would not be a crime, because a crime requires the elements of the offense. I would argue that it is misguided to say that since something is possibly an "Illegality" under German legal doctrine, it is "illegal" in the international meaning of the word. For me, illegal in this artice is nothing but a short version of saying " it is not a crime". And I hope to have demonstrated and my cited legal literature agrees that abortion on demand is not a crime in Germany. Blur4760 00:09, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

The colour of Germany in the map should be dark blue, at least it should be changed to a striped dark blue/light blue. Light blue would mean that you are punished for having or performing and abortion on demand (without rape, health risks or any other factors), which is not true for Germany! Noone is punished for an abortion in the first 12 weeks. See discussion page of the picture in question. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.94.249.1 (talk) 13:26, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

(By the way, the discussion page is at File talk:AbortionLawsMap-NoLegend.png.--Kevinkor2 (talk) 13:11, 14 November 2010 (UTC))

Situation has changed in Argentina[edit]

Hello! I'm informing you that now in Argentina there have been modifications of the abortion law, and you should be fixing it, because now its different.

Mauri 200.122.23.61 19:04, 7 October 2007 (UTC)


Abortion in India[edit]

According to this link, abortion looks to be available by consent. I'm going to change it soon if nobody its uncontested. Corpx (talk) 03:29, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Why india is listed as beeing on request? There is a clear contradiction between the graphic and the table. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 201.9.129.126 (talk) 19:44, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Taiwan law?[edit]

Why isn't there a row in the table for the Republic of China? This is an issue where the disputed status of Taiwan is rather irrelevant - ROC law de facto applies in the island, and as such this should be listed here. Can anyone please tell what the specific restrictions on abortion are? 189.79.77.87 (talk) 22:38, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

That's just a technical distinction.--Prubby Wup Wup Wup (talk) 12:31, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Hominization[edit]

The text discusses Pope Gregory's view that something called "hominization" occurs in the course of pregnancy, but the link on the term leads to a homonym with a completely different meaning. Seems like material should be added to the Hominization article, because as it is now, it makes no sense. Agent Cooper (talk) 13:57, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Done. I added some material to the hominization page. I really think there should be a disambiguation page, but don't know how to do it. Also, the ensoulment page clarifies the term.Ermadog (talk) 13:16, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Spain[edit]

In Spain abortion is legal on request after a new law, which is in 2009 in Spain parliament. 92.252.116.53 (talk) 23:04, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Bias[edit]

Bias in the charts[edit]

The charts, in the Western Europe category, for example, have been formatted in a way that seems to make it appear as if more Western European nations oppose abortion. This is especially evident in comparison to the UN charts. Though the UN charts, on the other hand, seem divided in a way that creates the opposite effect. A neutral solution should be found, and a warning should be posted.

The charts in question are here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_law#National_laws

The UN article I mentioned is in the article's citation list. I will repost it here: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/2007_Abortion_Policies_Chart/2007_WallChart.pdf

Nikurasu (talk) 22:45, 14 Apr 2010 (UTC)

I've updated the map, is it better now? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:10, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I've removed the tag for now, please discuss here if it is still an issue. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:33, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
It looks good to me, I don't think there is a major problem anymore. Nikurasu (talk) 16:34, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Bias in the language[edit]

Suggested improvement: Edit the statement so as not to characterize the Right to Life Movement as concerned about the life of a "fetus" or "embryo." Change it as concern about murdering babies. After all, the statement is about the position of Pro-lifers.(EnochBethany (talk) 22:27, 4 July 2010 (UTC))

Suggested improvement: Edit the statement about the rationale of "pro-choice." The meaning of pro-choice is not pro-extenuating circumstances, but pro-choice. Thus the statement should read: "Pro-Choice activists argue that a woman has a right to abortion on the basis of her choice. "(EnochBethany (talk) 22:31, 4 July 2010 (UTC))

Guttmacher Institute study presents huge bias[edit]

In the opening section, we have "Actually in contrast to common belief, abortion rates are similar in countries where the procedure is legal and in countries where it is not.[1] The same study also reveals that the number of abortions worldwide is declining due to increased access to contraception."

This is debatable. The study linked was done by the Guttmacher Institute, which is part of Planned Parenthood. They benefit from legalized abortion and the study makes their business look better. I suggest we remove this section all together, it doesn't really belong in the Abortion law page at all.--Minimidgy (talk) 15:15, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Proposal for new page[edit]

I have found myself repeatedly adding the same material to several different pages in the abortion project, usually under the history subsections of these pages. At the suggestion of RexxS, I have decided to start a new wikipage, History of Abortion Law (tentative title). This would allow a reduction of the currently unwieldy size of some of the already existing pages, as we can then reduce the history subsections to a smaller summarization, with a link to the new page. The rough draft is residing here: User:Ermadog/Abortion history .

As this is only a rough draft, I do not want any direct editing of this page at this time. Instead, please add contributions to the discussion page. Please look over the following material. most of which will be incorporated into the new page, before suggesting additional material:

Any discussion of the direction of this project should be made on my talk page, under the category "Your addition to Abortion"

Anyone finding better quality references or citations is welcome to post them to the discussion page. I'll find a way to incorporate them, even if I have to relegate them to a Notes section. In particular, I am looking for material on abortion law and relevant philosophy from the ancient East, as well as from the Persian Vedas. Corrections to my brief discussion of Hinduism and Buddhism are welcome. Particularly, where exactly in the Vedas can the doctrine of reincarnation be found? I have heard it is of fairly late vintage.

Anyone finding history subsections in any other abortion page not listed here, please post links to my discussion page.

I expect to have a good first draft available in a few days. Until then, I keep a current copy of the current page on my hard drive. Any editing at all at this stage will be treated as vandalism. I will delete the whole page and replace it with my copy. Once I publish it to Wikipedia, of course, the standard rules of editing apply.Ermadog (talk) 00:01, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

This page is now complete and has been published to Wikipedia as History of Abortion Law Debate. I will be pruning the history subsections of the lengthier articles in the abortion project.Ermadog (talk) 01:51, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

No restrictions on the provision of abortion[edit]

There are three problems with this sentence. It is simply false that Canada or the United States have no restrictions on the provision of abortion. Canada has de-criminalized abortion. In the famous R. v Morgentaler case, the Courts decided that the then current law, as found in the criminal code, was unconstitutional and was struck down. What that did was remove abortion from the criminal code. It did not establish abortion per se as a right, but found it to be encompassed by the constitutional right to security of persons. There was an attempt in 1989 to pass a bill that would criminalize abortion under some circumstances; but, it failed to pass. This does not mean that abortion is unregulated. It falls under the same regulations as any other medical matter, regarding such things as training of personnel and licencing of facilities. I think it's fair to assume that the writer of this sentence meant to say that Canada has no criminal laws against abortion, or no legislative restrictions against abortion, and did not mean that Canada has no regulations at all. The case in the US, however, is somewhat different. By contrast with Canada, the US did establish abortion as a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. However, there are constitutional limits: abortion in the US is not "on demand" past the point of viability. Roe v Wade reserved the right for the government to protect unspecified interest in the "potentiality of life" after viability. Thirdly, Canada is the only country, as far as I know, that has completely de-criminalized abortion. To say that there are "many others" that have no restrictions (in the sense of having no criminal or constitutional laws against it) on abortion is simply false. Ermadog (talk) 12:02, 9 October 2010 (UTC)


Uruguay[edit]

I don't know wich information is the real one, but Uruguay in the map seems to be Legal almost in all cases, but in the page says that it is illegal with no exceptions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.26.16.198 (talk) 05:26, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Neither of them are correct. In Uruguay abortion is iligal, except in the next cases: socio-economic factors, to protect woman's life,to "defend the honour" of the wife or a close relative and rape, if the abortion is done by a doctor during the first three month of the pregnancy. Law Nº 9.763, January 24, 1938. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ngvm (talkcontribs) 15:45, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Today the Uruguay's senate approved the law granting unrestricted abortion rights. http://www.elpais.com.uy/121017/ultmo-670224/ultimomomento/senado-aprobo-despenalizar-el-aborto-por-17-votos-en-31/ Tom Paine (talk) 19:19, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Map colors[edit]

I think the colors for "Legal for or illegal with exception for maternal life, health, mental health, rape, and/or fetal defects" and "Varies by region" are too close together. Also, when I went to edit this, much to my frustration I found it is a PNG image. Simply editing this in GIMP seems to result in annoying effects on country borders. I hope someone can replace this map with an SVG version and with any spare time I will do it myself. K. the Surveyor (talk) 19:37, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Eastern vs Western Europe[edit]

Since East vs West is a cold war term, and Central Europe does exist, perhaps it would be best to have either "Europe" or West, Central AND East.86.162.42.210 (talk) 00:31, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

I think the two should just be merged into "Europe". The differences between "Eastern" and "Western" Europe are totaally arbitrary, let alone what exactly constituted "Central" Europe. Skyduster (talk) 23:46, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Doctors allowed to opt out of abortions[edit]

Hi,

I found an interesting newsbite in a recent Christianity Today Magazine:

Doctors allowed to opt out of abortions
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/december/14.12.html
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) resolved in October that European doctors have a right to conscientious objection when it comes to abortion. pace adopted the resolution instead of an earlier draft from its Social, Health, and Family Affairs Committee that objected to "unregulated use" of the right to conscientious objection. The finished resolution prohibits anyone from "being coerced, held liable, or discriminated" into involvement with an abortion "for any reason."

Where would this information be placed?

I see an article, Conscience clause (medical), but it seems to be focused on U.S. laws.

--Kevinkor2 (talk) 12:15, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Maybe it could go into Conscience clause (medical), precisely to lessen that focus. Dylan Flaherty 12:28, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Wrongful birth?[edit]

Is wrongful birth an area of abortion law?

I found the following information on American Medical Association's news site:

Judging genetic risks: Physicians often caught between what patients want and what science offers
http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/11/10/prsa1110.htm
For example, case law in about 25 states recognizes wrongful birth claims. These claims allow parents of a child born with disabilities to argue that they lost their right to terminate the pregnancy after a doctor failed to detect and inform them of genetic anomalies. States that prohibit such actions still may allow plaintiffs to sue for medical negligence, or begin recognizing wrongful birth claims, Crockin said. As genetic testing proliferates, "state-by-state interpretation is going to be up for scrutiny," she said.

--Kevinkor2 (talk) 14:51, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I'd say it definitely belongs. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 19:49, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Liechtenstein[edit]

The map shows Liechtenstein as banning abortion (red), however abortion is legal in Liechtenstein up to 12 weeks. Solar-Wind (talk) 15:21, 29 May 2011 (UTC) In a referendum in September 2011 voters in Liechtenstein banned abortion again. 188.118.155.83 (talk) 14:38, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Belize[edit]

The chart for Belize is showing a serious inconsistency. The chart says that it is legal for an abortion "on request" however it says "No" for everything except rape. How is that even possible? If the country has abortion available on request, then that de facto makes every situation (economic factors, health, rape) for an abortion a "Yes". Either everything for Belize needs to be changed to a "Yes", or you need to make the "on request" a no, whichever is correct. 67.142.161.21 (talk) 00:45, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Ethiopia[edit]

Ethiopia has since 2005 a more liberal abortion law. The map should be yellow or blue.

Lowest bithrates in Africa have:

82.149.172.50 (talk) 15:14, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I seriously doubt the accuracy of that reference: Certainly at least several North African countries (e.g. Tunisia) have lower birthrates than Ethiopia's 4.8 (as stated in the reference)...--Roentgenium111 (talk) 15:11, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

No need to merge with age of consent, but add link to minors and abortion[edit]

I have deleted the tag suggesting that European mandatory age limits and related laws be merged into this article or section, because that article is about the age of consent for sexual activity. But I have added a link to the article minors and abortion which gives the age of consent for abortion.Gautier lebon (talk) 14:31, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Nuremburg[edit]

So user:brandmeister has been throwing in a statement that "Abortion broadly construed was denounced at the Nuremberg Trials as a crime against humanity," citing a book "Human Rights and the Unborn Child." This statement is not NPOV. Some quick sniffing around on Google made it clear that the majority opinion is that the Nuremburg Trials were against forced abortion, coerced abortion, and abortion as a tool of genocide. It also made it clear that Rita Joseph is very much anti-choice. I'd recommend that you first get consensus at talk:Nuremberg Trials to include it in the Nuremberg Trials article, then find a way to mention it here. Additionally, I didn't find your new way of including it significantly less random than your previous way. Triacylglyceride (talk) 14:45, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

There is a dedicated paper, "Nuremberg and the Crime of Abortion", which confirms Joseph's words. The summary states: "Allied prosecutors made the case that voluntary and involuntary abortion were war crimes and crimes against humanity" and "The prosecution argued that voluntary abortion was punishable because it was a crime against the unborn child". Brandmeistertalk 23:07, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
So why did you say that the trials found that abortion was, broadly construed, a crime against humanity? From the first page of the article to which you linked, "After summarizing evidence of voluntary abortion policies in its judgment, the Greifelt tribunal found two defendants guilty and one not guilty of forcible abortion and seven not guilty simply of abortion."
It's right there that the Greifelt tribunal did not find anybody guilty of abortion. They only found defendants guilty of forcible abortion.
Please, take it to talk:Nuremberg Trials first. Triacylglyceride (talk) 02:27, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
I propose simple paraphrasing according to that article: "At the Nuremberg trials, the Allied prosecutors made the case that voluntary and involuntary abortion were war crimes and crimes against humanity". Brandmeistertalk 09:37, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, you didn't do that, you said, "Abortion broadly construed was denounced at the Nuremberg Trials as a crime against humanity." This makes it sound as though the Nuremberg Trials found abortion to be a crime against humanity.
Additionally, I don't think that it fits in this article, unless it had a role in influencing the legality of abortion, which it doesn't seem like it did.
I stand by my statement that you should get it into the Nuremberg Trials article first, after running it by their talk page. Triacylglyceride (talk) 16:13, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Abortion law has changed in Brazil[edit]

The Supreme Federal Court ruled in favour of the abortion when the pregnancy results in an anencephalic baby. Afterwards, specific clinics were opened nationwide to attend pregnants in this case. --Rafavargas (talk) 05:31, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Mistake on Map (Northern Ireland)[edit]

There's a mistake on the map with regards to abortion law.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a5/Abortion_Laws.svg

Northern Ireland is deep blue which would suggest that abortion is legal on request. However, abortion in Northern Ireland is usually illegal.

I'm not sure what colour Northern Ireland should be exactly, but I'm guessing it would be the same colour as the Republic of Ireland- illegal with exception for maternal life or health. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.155.252.83 (talk) 19:11, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Serious problems with the tables[edit]

There are serious problems with the tables used in this article. Apart from poor sourcing (using sources from 2002- that is 10 years ago and laws do change...), or not using sources at all, the tables cannot clearly explain the situation in that they are based on "yes" or "no", when in fact in many places the situation is in between. For instance, many countries will allow abortion only if a third party (a committee/2 doctors etc) approves, and the third party may or may not approve. ie: a woman may be allowed to get an abortion in case of rape only if a committee approves. How do you list this in the table? It is neither "yes" because the committee may deny her the abortion, neither "no" because she does have a chance to obtain the abortion legally. The situation becomes even more complex with the interpretation and application of various reasons for abortion: a country may not explicitly allow abortion for rape, but may allow it for mental health risk, and this can be used in cases of rape (by arguing that the woman would be seriously traumatized by continuing her pregnancy which resulted from rape, and have her mental health put in danger if she is denied abortion). A country may not explicitly allow abortion for fetal defects, but may use the mental health law (by arguing that a woman would be traumatized if she is forced to continue the pregnancy and give birth to a severely disabled child). A country may not have a mental health law, but may have a physical health law which is used under the principle that being in severe psychological distress can lead to self-harm or suicide (physical harm).

Apart from this, the table shows some countries with "yes", and others with "1rst" or "2nd", which implies that where the table shows "yes" an abortion can be done any time before birth which is not true, since most countries have limits and do not allow abortion up until one day before birth (exceptions being extreme situations where the woman would die, and even in this situation many countries have explicit limits). Furthermore, many countries are shown with wrong data: they do have a limit of 1st in some circumstances, but the table shows them with "yes".

So my suggestion is to re-organize the article, and get rid of the tables, especially since now most countries in Europe and the Americas have their own article "Abortion in...", and soon (nearly) all countries will have their own abortion article. I suggest that the article maintains the subsections of Europe, Asia, Africa etc, but replaces the table with a general overview and a general presentation of the situation in that region, also explaining what happens in practice, not only the legal situation, giving some relevant examples of specific laws, and providing the reader with a link to the country specific articles, eg a link to Category:Abortion in Europe. If nobody objects, I plan to do this for the section of Western Europe, which is a mess and also contains mistakes.5.12.64.183 (talk) 13:45, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

I made these changes. I wrote a general presentation with links to the country specific articles. I also changed the 'Western Europe' and 'Eastern Europe' sections to 'European Union' and 'Countries outside European Union', since there are complains about this above.2A02:2F01:1059:F001:0:0:50C:4CFB (talk) 18:19, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd prefer the table for the EU to be corrected and reinstated, it gives a good overview information. I suspect the remaining "Non-EU Europe" table is much more inaccurate w.r.t. many "Yes"es than the renoved EU table; that one certainly needs fixing.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 15:15, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
This is a good source; from the United Nations: [12]. I see someone added a table back. Meanwhile, I'm tagging the article for factual accuracy- outdated, poorly sourced and unsourced tables, see discussion above. The UN source only uses "yes" and "no" and I suggest this article does this too. Anything else is much too complex, and finding a reliable source for each country for its exact time limit in each circumstance, is virtually impossible. There is already a section on late term abortions (albeit horribly outdated), and that section should be expanded to include time limits with relevant examples from different countries.2A02:2F01:1059:F003:0:0:BC19:AAA9 (talk) 12:40, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
I think the best way would be to use "Yes" if it is legal at least in the first weeks/trimester, but adding the time limit in brackets whenever it is known. (I suppose most editors would know these at least for their own country.) This way we can get accuracy without losing some information.
The UN source seems not to be quite accurate, however - e.g. in Germany there is no special right to abortion in cases of social hardships or fetal defects, contradicting their claim. Of course, in practice, the legality of abortion on request (without any reasons), which exists in Germany, makes all other cases legal as well. I don't know how we should reflect this ambiguity in the article... --Roentgenium111 (talk) 15:06, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, first of all it is very difficult to talk of a legal "special right to abortion" because there aren't that many countries which really have that, given the policy of conscientious objection (which exists in most countries that allow abortion on demand), which allows doctors to refuse to perform an abortion if it goes against their moral views - that is very different from other medical procedures: i.e a doctor can't just refuse to fix a patient's broken arm for example.
Also, I see that you made some changes to Switzerland, I note that you are mistaken about the time limits. Switzerland allows abortion on demand during the first 12 weeks LPM, after which it is allowed in case of physical risk or mental distress, with mental distress having been interpreted to include mental harm coming from rape, incest and fetal defects (doctor must approve that the continuation of pregnancy causes distress). Note also that abortion on demand can't really be interpreted as allowing in practice abortion in cases of fetal defects, because abortion on demand is typically allowed during the first trimester, while abortions in cases of fetal defects are by definition, in most cases, abortions during the second trimester, because that's when most fetal defects that they are looking for are discovered. Also, look at Switzerland's public policy regarding reimbursement of medical procedures in pre-natal testing - on this site[13] from the Federal Office of Public Health- see question 04 :"Amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling is covered for women aged from 35, and for younger women in cases where the risk of a child being born with a disorder due exclusively to genetic factors is 1:380 or higher." - Abortions after amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling are by definition second trimester abortions (amniocentesis is done around 16 weeks + 2/3 weeks waiting for a complete result; chorionic villus sampling is done arond 12 weeks + 2 weeks for the results). Most other common birth defects that they are screening for are also seen only on the second trimester ultrasound; generally speaking, saying "allowing abortions for fetal defects during the first trimester" is an oxymoron, because there is very few that can be detected at that time (note: new blood test that detects Down's Syndome and other trisomies as early as 10 weeks has just been introduced in the US, but probably it will take several years for it to be introduced in all other western countries- and even with it you still have to confirm a positive result through chorionic villus sampling... see here: .[14]).
In regard to the tables, I really don't know what to say, I'm not entirely sure that they are really needed. In most cases, a the situation is not clear cut: from a strictly legal point of view, a woman isn't really guaranteed an abortion (except in cases of threat to her life situations), having an abortion depends more or less, on the approval/authorization of doctor(s); and obviously what happens in practice depends tremendously from country to country, as laws are often interpreted in creative ways. I also don't think that going through each country is necessary needed here, a more general approach, dealing with the history of laws, the social climate in which they are constructed, the political and ethics discussions surrounding them etc, and giving relevant examples from some countries would be more appropriate. A link to the Category:Abortion by country could be useful as many individual countries have articles. Alo, if you say you don't think the UN source is accurate, than what other source can be used for all these countries?2A02:2F01:1059:F003:0:0:BC19:AAA9 (talk) 17:05, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
In regard to Switzerland, my reasoning was that "mental harm coming from rape, incest and fetal defects" is still just mental harm and does not belong in the other categories; also I think we should not give such detailed "interpretations" in the table, which is only meant to be an overview. That's actually a similar ambiguity as in Germany: There, there is no explicit right to abortion in cases of social hardships or fetal defects, but anyone with social hardships can just request abortion, and giving birth to a baby with serious fetal defects usually counts as dangerous to the mother's mental health (yes, seriously!), so can (and is) in practice be done even in 3rd trimester... I don't have a better source than the UN one, unfortunately; maybe we can use it as a default reference unless we know better from other sources... --Roentgenium111 (talk) 17:35, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Re serious problems with the tables (from the initial entry of this discussion section), I agree.
Personally, I found this article useful yesterday. I stumbled across it, did some WP:GNOMEing, edits and looked at the entry for the Philippines out of personal interest. I doubted some info there, which was then contradicted in the wikilinked details article. I located the (not individually cited) country info for the Philippines at http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/abortion/doc/philippines.doc using the links mentioned above, and added info from there to the wikilinked article here, citing those sources.
The article would be better if it cited and relied on more recent supporting sources, but we have to work with whatever reliable sources we can find and cite those sources.
I don't think that the sources cited are useless because of their age, In my opinion, individual table entries ought to be individually sourced -- perhaps with inline links to the U.N. country info, that the info presented ought to come from those sources, and that any other info presented not from those sources should be individually supported with <Ref>'d cites. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 23:28, 10 July 2012 (UTC)
Re Switzerland, the most recent data from the UN is from this report World abortion policies 2011[15], the entry for Switzerland states "yes" in all cases: yes for "To save a woman’s life" ; yes for "To preserve a woman’s physical health"; yes for "To preserve a woman’s mental health"; yes for "In case of rape or incest"; yes for "Because of foetal impairment"; yes for "For economic or social reasons"; yes for "On request"- that is how it is listed in the most recent UN data. 2A02:2F01:1059:F003:0:0:5679:4246 (talk) 02:21, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Timely information; from a respected source; nicely formatted; pretty comprehensive. It seems to me that the entire National laws section could be replaced with a paragraph describing this chart and noting that information for individual countries is provided therein, supported by a cite linking to the web page containing the chart. I note [16] and [17]. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 06:20, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Feel free to implement these changes.2A02:2F01:1059:F003:0:0:5679:4246 (talk) 10:25, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Having seen neither further discussion nor objection, I've updated the article to remove the tables and replace them with a table summarizing the 2011 info from the UN. I've left the non-table text in. This probably needs more work from editors more familiar with this topic than I. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 06:04, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I find the new table rather confusing. Why are the countries listed in some rows while other rows just contain the word "Countries"? Why do the categories only distinguish based on the legality of abortion to save the mother's life without mentioning any of the other grounds? Surely the legality of abortion "on demand" is also a significant question? - htonl (talk) 09:59, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

I constructed the table. These were editorial judgements on my part. In hindsight, I think I probably ought to have put a comma-separated list of individual countries for the category 3 entries instead of just saying "Countries". The second judgement made because I couldn't come up with a good format for depicting the other information. Perhaps other editors can improve on the table as I've constructed it -- one improvement might be to add footnote to the table listing the conditions other than those I included as categories 1 and 2, referring readers to the cited source for country-by-country details. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:12, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Irish women traveling for abortions[edit]

Apologies for placing a mistaken {{fv}} tag re the assertion re 6,000 Irish women traveling, and thanks to User:VictorVVV for fixing my mistake. I rechecked the cited source and saw that it identifies England as the destination, not the UK (which was the detail I was originally trying to verify), so I changed that. Also, I noted a WP:DATED problem in that the article implied that the info was current even though it came from a 2007 source; I clarified that. The info should probably be updated using a more recent source (e.g., [18], [19]). Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:08, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Abortion advocacy movement coverage ready for community feedback[edit]

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Abortion advocacy movement coverage, an RFC that will affect the title of the articles currently titled Support for the legalization of abortion and Opposition to legal abortion if consensus is found in favor of its conclusions, is now in its community feedback phase and ready for editors to register opinions and arguments. Please add your feedback; thanks! —chaos5023 (talk) 17:58, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Replacing the "national law" table[edit]

I'm thinking of replacing the current table in the "National laws" section with something akin to the "Grounds on which abortion is permitted" columns of the the World Abortion Policies 2011 wallchart to give a fuller description of the abortion laws of the world. It would look something like the following.

Country Life of the woman Physical health of the woman Mental health of the woman Rape or incest Fetal abnormality Economic or social reasons On request
Botswana Botswana Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Lesotho Lesotho Yes No No No No No No
Namibia Namibia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
South Africa South Africa Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Swaziland Swaziland Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No

I'd like opinions from other editors before I go and put all the work into putting the tables together. - htonl (talk) 10:50, 12 January 2013 (UTC)