Abortion law

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Legality of abortion by country or territory
Legal on request:
  No gestational limit
  Gestational limit after the first 17 weeks
  Gestational limit in the first 17 weeks
  Unclear gestational limit
Legally restricted to cases of:
  Risk to woman's life, to her health*, rape*, fetal impairment*, or socioeconomic factors
  Risk to woman's life, to her health*, rape, or fetal impairment
  Risk to woman's life, to her health*, or fetal impairment
  Risk to woman's life*, to her health*, or rape
  Risk to woman's life or to her health
  Risk to woman's life
  Illegal with no exceptions
  No information
* Does not apply to some countries or territories in that category
Note: In some countries or territories, abortion laws are modified by other laws, regulations, legal principles or judicial decisions. This map shows their combined effect as implemented by the authorities.

Abortion laws vary widely among countries and have changed over time. Such laws range from abortion being freely available on request, to regulation or restrictions of various kinds, to outright prohibition in all circumstances. Many countries that allow abortion have gestational limits for the procedure depending on the reason; with the majority being up to 12 weeks for abortion on request, up to 24 weeks for rape, incest, or socioeconomic reasons, and more for fetal impairment or threats to the woman's health or life.

Abortion continues to be a controversial subject in many societies on religious, moral, ethical, practical, and political grounds. Though it has been banned and otherwise limited by law in many jurisdictions, abortions continue to be common in many areas, even where they are illegal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), abortion rates are similar in countries where the procedure is legal and in countries where it is not,[1][better source needed] due to unavailability of modern contraceptives in areas where abortion is illegal.[2]

Also according to the WHO, the number of abortions worldwide is declining due to increased access to contraception.[1] Almost two-thirds of the world's women currently reside in countries where abortion may be obtained on request for a broad range of social, economic, or personal reasons.

History[edit]

Abortion has existed since ancient times, with natural abortifacients being found amongst a wide variety of tribal people and in most written sources. The earliest known records of abortion techniques and general reproductive regulation date as far back as 2700 BC in China and 1550 BC in Egypt.[3] Early texts contain no mention of abortion or abortion law. When it does appear, it is entailed in concerns about male property rights, preservation of social order, and the duty to produce fit citizens for the state or community. The harshest penalties were generally reserved for a woman who procured an abortion against her husband's wishes, and for slaves who produced abortion in a woman of high status. Religious texts often contained severe condemnations of abortion, recommending penance but seldom enforcing secular punishment. As a matter of common law in England and the United States, abortion was illegal anytime after quickening—when the movements of the fetus could first be felt by the woman. Under the born alive rule, the fetus was not considered a "reasonable being" in Rerum Natura; and abortion was not treated as murder in English law.

In the 20th century, many Western countries began to codify abortion laws or place further restrictions on the practice. Anti-abortion movements, also referred to as Pro-life movements, were led by a combination of groups opposed to abortion on moral grounds, and by medical professionals who were concerned about the danger presented by the procedure and the regular involvement of non-medical personnel in performing abortions. Nevertheless, it became clear that illegal abortions continued to take place in large numbers even where abortions were rigorously restricted. It was difficult to obtain sufficient evidence to prosecute the women and abortion doctors, and judges and juries were often reluctant to convict. For example, Henry Morgentaler, a Canadian pro-choice advocate, was never convicted by a jury. He was acquitted by a jury in the 1973 court case, but the acquittal was overturned by five judges on the Quebec Court of Appeal in 1974. He went to prison, appealed, and was again acquitted. In total, he served 10 months, suffering a heart attack while in solitary confinement. Many were also outraged at the invasion of privacy and the medical problems resulting from abortions taking place illegally in medically dangerous circumstances. Political movements soon coalesced around the legalization of abortion and liberalization of existing laws.

By the mid 20th century, many countries had begun to liberalize abortion laws, at least when performed to protect the woman's life and in some cases on the woman's request. Under Vladimir Lenin, the Soviet Union legalized abortions on request in 1920.[4][5][6][7][8][excessive citations] The Bolsheviks saw abortion as a social evil created by the capitalist system, which left women without the economic means to raise children, forcing them to perform abortions. The Soviet state initially preserved the tsarist ban on abortion, which treated the practice as premeditated murder. However, abortion had been practiced by Russian women for decades and its incidence skyrocketed further as a result of the Russian Civil War, which had left the country economically devastated and made it extremely difficult for many people to have children. The Soviet state recognized that banning abortion would not stop the practice because women would continue using the services of private abortionists. In rural areas, these were often old women who had no medical training, which made their services very dangerous to women's health. In November 1920 the Soviet regime legalized abortion in state hospitals. The state considered abortion as a temporary necessary evil, which would disappear in the future communist society, which would be able to provide for all the children conceived.[9] In 1936, Joseph Stalin placed prohibitions on abortions, which restricted them to medically recommended cases only, in order to increase population growth after the enormous loss of life in World War I and the Russian Civil War.[10][11][12] In the 1930s, several countries (Poland, Turkey, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Mexico) legalized abortion in some special cases (pregnancy from rape, threat to mother's health, fetal malformation). In 1948 abortion was legalized in Japan,[needs update] 1952 in Yugoslavia (on a limited basis[which?]), and again in 1955 in the Soviet Union on request. Some Soviet allies (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania) legalized abortion in the late 1950s under pressure from the Soviets.[how?][13][better source needed]

In the United Kingdom, the Abortion Act of 1967 clarified and prescribed abortions as legal up to 28 weeks (later reduced to 24 weeks). Other countries soon followed, including Canada (1969), the United States (1973 in most states, pursuant to Roe v. Wade—the U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion nationwide), Tunisia (1973), Denmark (1973), Austria (1974), France (1975), Sweden (1975), New Zealand (1977), Italy (1978), the Netherlands (1984), and Belgium (1990). However, these countries vary greatly in the circumstances under which abortion was to be permitted. In 1975, the West German Supreme Court struck down a law legalizing abortion, holding that they contradict the constitution's human rights guarantees. In 1976, a law was adopted which enabled abortions up to 12 weeks. After Germany's reunification, despite the legal status of abortion in former East Germany, a compromise was reached which deemed most abortions up to 12 weeks legal, but this law was struck down by the Federal Constitutional Court and amended to only remove the punishment in such cases, without any statement to legality. In jurisdictions governed under sharia law, abortion after the 120th day from conception (19 weeks from LMP) is illegal, especially for those who follow the recommendations of the Hanafi legal school, while most jurists of the Maliki legal school "believe that ensoulment occurs at the moment of conception, and they tend to forbid abortion at any point [similar to the Roman Catholic Church]. The other schools hold intermediate positions. [...] The penalty prescribed for an illegal abortion varies according to particular circumstances involved. According to sharia, it should be limited to a fine that is paid to the father or heirs of the fetus".[14] (See also: Islam and abortion).

Timeline of abortion on request[edit]

The table below lists in chronological order the UN member states that have legalized abortion on request in at least some initial part of the pregnancy, or that have fully decriminalized abortion.

Notes

Where a country has legalized abortion on request, prohibited it, and legalized it again (e.g. former Soviet Union, Romania), only the later year is included. Countries that result from the merger of states where abortion on request was legal at the moment of unification show the year when it became legal across the whole national territory (e.g. Germany, Vietnam). Similarly, countries where not all subnational jurisdictions have legalized abortion on request are not included (e.g. leading to the exclusion of Australia, Mexico and the United Kingdom). Countries are counted even if they were not yet independent at the time. The year refers to when the relevant law or judicial decision came into force, which may be different from the year when it was approved.

Year legalized Countries Countries per year Cumulative countries
1950  North Korea[needs update][15] 1 1
1955 ( Armenia  Azerbaijan  Belarus  Estonia  Georgia  Kazakhstan  Kyrgyzstan  Latvia  Lithuania  Moldova  Russia  Tajikistan  Turkmenistan  Ukraine  Uzbekistan as part of the Soviet Union) 15 16
1965  Cuba 1 17
1973  Denmark  Tunisia[16]  United States[a][b] 3 20
1974  Singapore  Sweden 2 22
1975  Austria  France  Vietnam[a] 3 25
1977 ( Bosnia and Herzegovina  Croatia  Montenegro  North Macedonia  Serbia  Slovenia as part of Yugoslavia) 6 31
1978  Italy  Luxembourg 2 33
1979  China  Norway[c] 2 35
1983  Turkey 1 36
1984  Netherlands 1 37
1986  Cape Verde ( Czech Republic  Slovakia as part of Czechoslovakia)  Greece 4 41
1988  Canada 1 42
1989  Mongolia[18] 1 43
1990  Belgium  Bulgaria  Romania 3 46
1992  Germany[d] 1 47
1995  Albania  Guyana 2 49
1997  Cambodia  South Africa 2 51
2002  Nepal  Switzerland 2 53
2007  Portugal 1 54
2010  Spain 1 55
2012  São Tomé and Príncipe[19]  Uruguay 2 57
2015  Mozambique[e] 1 58
2018  Cyprus  Ireland 2 60
2019  Iceland 1 61
2020  New Zealand 1 62
2021  Argentina[f]  South Korea  Thailand 3 65

International law[edit]

There are no international or multinational treaties that deal directly with abortion but human rights law and International criminal law touch on the issues.

The Nuremberg Military Tribunal decided the case of United States v Greifelt & others [1948] on the basis that abortion was a crime within its jurisdiction according to the law defining crimes against humanity and thus within its definition of murder and extermination.[22]

The Catholic Church remains highly influential in Latin America, and opposes the legalisation of abortion.[23] The American Convention on Human Rights, which in 2013 had 23 Latin American parties, declares human life as commencing with conception. In Latin America, abortion on request is only legal in Cuba (1965), Uruguay (2012),[24] Argentina (2021),[21] and in parts of Mexico.[25][26] Abortions are completely banned in Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic and only allowed in certain restricted circumstances in most other Latin American nations.[23]

In the 2010 case of A, B and C v Ireland, the European Court of Human Rights found that the European Convention on Human Rights did not include a right to an abortion.

In 2005, the United Nations Human Rights Committee ordered Peru to compensate a woman (known as K.L.) for denying her a medically indicated abortion; this was the first time a United Nations Committee had held any country accountable for not ensuring access to safe, legal abortion, and the first time the committee affirmed that abortion is a human right.[27] K.L. received the compensation in 2016.[27] In the 2016 case of Mellet v Ireland, the UN HRC found Ireland's abortion laws violated International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights because Irish law banned abortion in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities.

National laws[edit]

While abortions are legal at least under certain conditions in almost all countries, these conditions vary widely. According to a United Nations (UN) report with data gathered up to 2019,[28] abortion is allowed in 98% of countries in order to save a woman's life. Other commonly-accepted reasons are preserving physical (72%) or mental health (69%), in cases of rape or incest (61%), and in cases of fetal impairment (61%). Performing an abortion because of economic or social reasons is accepted in 37% of countries. Performing abortion only on the basis of a woman's request is allowed in 34% of countries, including in the United States, Canada, most European countries and China.[28]

The exact scope of each legal ground also varies. For example, the laws of some countries cite health risks and fetal impairment as general grounds for abortion and allow a broad interpretation of such terms in practice, while other countries restrict them to a specific list of medical conditions or subcategories. Many countries that allow abortion have gestational limits for the procedure depending on the reason; with the majority being up to 12 weeks for abortion on request, up to 24 weeks for social, economic, rape, or incest reasons, and more for fetal impairment or threats to the woman's health or life.[28]: 26 

In some countries, additional procedures must be followed before the abortion can be carried out even if the basic grounds for it are met. For example, in Finland, where abortions are not granted based merely on a woman's request, approval for each abortion must be obtained from two doctors (or one in special circumstances).[29] The vast majority, 90% of abortions in Finland are performed for socio-economic reasons.[30] How strictly all of the procedures dictated in the legislation are followed in practice is another matter. For example, in the United Kingdom, a Care Quality Commission's report in 2012 found that several NHS clinics were circumventing the law, using forms pre-signed by one doctor, thus allowing abortions to patients who only met with one doctor.[31]

Summary tables[edit]

Legend
permitted In many cases, abortion is permitted only up to a certain gestational age.
If this limit is known and does not vary by subdivision, it is shown instead of "permitted".
permitted, with complex legality or practice
varies by subdivision
prohibited, with complex legality or practice
prohibited

Independent countries[edit]

The table below summarizes the legal grounds for abortion in all United Nations member states and United Nations General Assembly observer states and some countries with limited recognition. This table is mostly based on data compiled by the United Nations up to 2019,[32] with some updates, additions and clarifications citing other sources.

Legal grounds on which abortion is permitted in independent countries[32]
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Abkhazia[33][34] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Afghanistan[needs update?] permitted[g] prohibited prohibited prohibited[g] prohibited[g] prohibited
 Albania[41] 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks no limit 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Algeria[42] permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Andorra prohibited[h] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Angola[i] permitted permitted 16 weeks permitted prohibited prohibited
 Antigua and Barbuda[47] 16 weeks[j] prohibited[49]: 15 [48] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Argentina[21] no limit no limit no limit 14 weeks 14 weeks 14 weeks
 Armenia[50] permitted permitted permitted permitted 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Artsakh[51] permitted 22 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Australia[52] [subdivisions] no limit permitted varies[k] permitted permitted varies[l][k]
 Australian Capital Territory[55][56] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 Christmas Island[m] no limit no limit 20 weeks no limit 20 weeks 20 weeks
 Cocos Islands[n] no limit no limit 20 weeks no limit 20 weeks 20 weeks
 Jervis Bay Territory[o] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 New South Wales[60] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit 22 weeks
 Norfolk Island[p] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit 22 weeks
 Northern Territory[62][53] no limit 23 weeks 23 weeks 23 weeks 23 weeks prohibited
 Queensland[63] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit 22 weeks
 South Australia[k] no limit 28 weeks prohibited 28 weeks 28 weeks prohibited
 Tasmania[68] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit 16 weeks
 Victoria[69] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit 24 weeks
 Western Australia[70] no limit no limit 20 weeks no limit 20 weeks 20 weeks
 Austria no limit no limit 3 months[q] no limit 3 months[q] 3 months[q]
 Azerbaijan[72] no limit no limit permitted permitted 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Bahamas[73] permitted permitted[r] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Bahrain permitted prohibited[s] prohibited[s] prohibited[s] prohibited[s] prohibited[s]
 Bangladesh no limit prohibited[t] prohibited[t] prohibited[t] prohibited[t] prohibited[t]
 Barbados[76] no limit no limit 12 weeks no limit 12 weeks prohibited
 Belarus[u] no limit no limit 22 weeks no limit 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Belgium no limit no limit 14 weeks[v] no limit 14 weeks[v] 14 weeks[v]
 Belize no limit no limit prohibited no limit permitted prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Benin permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited
 Bhutan[w] 180 days 180 days[x] 180 days 180 days[x] prohibited prohibited
 Bolivia 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks[y] prohibited prohibited
 Bosnia and Herzegovina [subdivisions] no limit no limit permitted permitted permitted 10 weeks
 Brčko District[z] no limit no limit 20 weeks 20 weeks 10 weeks 10 weeks
 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina[z] no limit no limit 20 weeks 20 weeks 10 weeks 10 weeks
 Republika Srpska[86] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit 10 weeks
 Botswana[87] 16 weeks 16 weeks 16 weeks 16 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Brazil 22 weeks[aa] prohibited 22 weeks[aa] prohibited[aa] prohibited prohibited
 Brunei permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Bulgaria[92] no limit 20 weeks permitted no limit 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Burkina Faso[93] no limit no limit 14 weeks no limit prohibited prohibited
 Burundi permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited[ab] prohibited
 Cambodia[95] no limit 12 weeks no limit no limit 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Cameroon[96] permitted 28 weeks 28 weeks prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Canada[ac] [subdivisions] permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted
 Alberta permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 24 weeks
 British Columbia permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 24 weeks and 6 days
 Manitoba permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 19 weeks and 6 days
 New Brunswick permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 16 weeks
 Newfoundland and Labrador permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 15 weeks
 Northwest Territories permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 19 weeks and 6 days
 Nova Scotia permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 16 weeks
 Nunavut permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 12 weeks
 Ontario permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 24 weeks
 Prince Edward Island permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 12 weeks and 6 days
 Quebec permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 23 weeks
 Saskatchewan permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 18 weeks and 6 days
 Yukon permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 12 weeks and 6 days
 Cape Verde no limit no limit 12 weeks permitted 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Central African Republic 8 weeks prohibited 8 weeks 8 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Chad no limit permitted permitted no limit prohibited prohibited
 Chile no limit prohibited 12 weeks[ad] permitted prohibited prohibited
 China[citation needed][ae] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 Colombia[100] no limit no limit no limit no limit prohibited prohibited
 Comoros permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Congo permitted[af] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Costa Rica permitted permitted prohibited[ag] prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Croatia no limit no limit no limit no limit 10 weeks 10 weeks
 Cuba[103][104] no limit 22 weeks no limit 35 weeks 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Cyprus permitted permitted 19 weeks permitted 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Czech Republic 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Democratic Republic of the Congo permitted[ah] permitted[ai] permitted[ai] permitted[ai] prohibited prohibited
 Denmark no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit 12 weeks[aj]
 Djibouti[109][110][111] permitted permitted[r] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Dominica permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Dominican Republic prohibited[al] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 East Timor[am] no limit prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Ecuador permitted permitted permitted[an] prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Egypt permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 El Salvador[119] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Equatorial Guinea permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Eritrea permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Estonia 22 weeks 22 weeks 12 weeks[ao] 22 weeks 12 weeks[ao] 12 weeks[ao]
 Eswatini permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited
 Ethiopia 28 weeks 28 weeks 28 weeks 28 weeks prohibited prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Fiji[121] no limit no limit 20 weeks no limit prohibited prohibited
 Finland[29][ap] 20 weeks 20 weeks 12 weeks 24 weeks 12 weeks prohibited
 France[aq] no limit no limit 14 weeks[ar] no limit 14 weeks[ar] 14 weeks[ar]
 Gabon[125] 10 weeks prohibited 10 weeks 10 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Gambia[126][127][128] permitted prohibited prohibited permitted prohibited prohibited
 Georgia[129][130] 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Germany no limit no limit 12 weeks 12 weeks[as] 12 weeks[as] 12 weeks[as]
 Ghana 28 weeks 28 weeks 28 weeks 28 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Greece no limit no limit 19 weeks 24 weeks 12 weeks[at] 12 weeks[at]
 Grenada permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Guatemala permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Guinea permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited
 Guinea-Bissau[134][135] permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Guyana no limit no limit 16 weeks 16 weeks 8 weeks 8 weeks
 Haiti[au] permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Honduras[137] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Hungary no limit 12 weeks[av] 12 weeks[av] 20 weeks[aw] 12 weeks[av] prohibited
 Iceland no limit no limit permitted no limit permitted 22 weeks
 India[139] no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks no limit 24 weeks prohibited
 Indonesia no limit prohibited 6 weeks no limit prohibited prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Iran[140][141][142] 4 months 4 months prohibited[ax] 4 months prohibited prohibited
 Iraq permitted[ay] prohibited[az] prohibited prohibited[az] prohibited prohibited
 Ireland viability[ba] viability[ba] 12 weeks permitted 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Israel permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted[bb] prohibited
 Italy[150] no limit viability 90 days 90 days 90 days 90 days
 Ivory Coast permitted prohibited[bc] permitted prohibited[bc] prohibited prohibited
 Jamaica permitted[bd] permitted[be] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Japan[157] 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks prohibited 22 weeks prohibited
 Jordan[158] permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Kazakhstan[159][160] no limit no limit 22 weeks no limit 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Kenya[161][162] permitted permitted permitted[bf] prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Kiribati permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Kosovo[165] permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 10 weeks
 Kuwait[166] permitted 4 months prohibited 4 months prohibited prohibited
 Kyrgyzstan[167][168] no limit no limit 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Laos permitted[bg] 28 weeks[bg] 28 weeks[bg] 28 weeks[bg] 28 weeks[bg] prohibited[bg]
 Latvia[172][173] permitted 24 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Lebanon permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Lesotho permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited
 Liberia[174] 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks prohibited prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Libya[175][176] permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Liechtenstein[177] permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Lithuania no limit no limit 12 weeks[bh] no limit 12 weeks[bh] 12 weeks[bh]
 Luxembourg[179] no limit no limit 14 weeks no limit 14 weeks 14 weeks
 Madagascar prohibited[bi] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Malawi[183] permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Malaysia[184] 22 weeks 22 weeks prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Maldives[bj] no limit prohibited 120 days 120 days[bk] prohibited prohibited
 Mali[189][190] permitted permitted[r] permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Malta prohibited[bl] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Marshall Islands permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Mauritania permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Mauritius[193] no limit no limit 14 weeks no limit prohibited prohibited
 Mexico[194] [subdivisions] varies[bm] varies[bn] no limit[bo] varies[bn] varies[bn] varies[bn]
 Aguascalientes permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Baja California permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Baja California Sur permitted permitted no limit[bo] permitted prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Campeche permitted permitted no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Chiapas permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] permitted prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Chihuahua permitted permitted no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Coahuila permitted permitted[bp] no limit[bo] permitted permitted[bp] permitted[bp]
 Colima permitted permitted no limit[bo] permitted prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Durango permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Guanajuato prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Guerrero permitted permitted no limit[bo] permitted prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Hidalgo[197] permitted permitted no limit[bo] permitted permitted 12 weeks
 Jalisco permitted permitted no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Mexico City[198] permitted permitted no limit[bo] permitted permitted 12 weeks
 Mexico State permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] permitted prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Michoacán permitted permitted no limit[bo] permitted permitted prohibited[bn]
 Morelos permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] permitted prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Nayarit permitted permitted no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Nuevo León permitted permitted no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Oaxaca[199] permitted permitted no limit[bo] permitted permitted 12 weeks
 Puebla permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] permitted prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Querétaro prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Quintana Roo permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] permitted prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 San Luis Potosí permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Sinaloa permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Sonora permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Tabasco permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Tamaulipas permitted permitted no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Tlaxcala permitted permitted no limit[bo] permitted prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Veracruz[200] permitted permitted no limit[bo] permitted permitted 12 weeks
 Yucatán permitted prohibited[bn] no limit[bo] permitted permitted prohibited[bn]
 Zacatecas permitted permitted no limit[bo] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn] prohibited[bn]
 Micronesia permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Moldova 21 weeks 21 weeks 21 weeks 21 weeks 21 weeks 12 weeks
 Monaco no limit no limit 12 weeks no limit prohibited prohibited
 Mongolia 23 weeks 23 weeks permitted permitted 14 weeks 14 weeks
 Montenegro 32 weeks 32 weeks 20 weeks 20 weeks 10 weeks 10 weeks
 Morocco[bq] no limit permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Mozambique no limit no limit 16 weeks 24 weeks[br] 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Myanmar[206] no limit prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Namibia permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited
 Nauru permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited
 Nepal[207] 28 weeks 28 weeks 28 weeks 28 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Netherlands[bs] no limit no limit 24 weeks no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks
 New Zealand[210] no limit no limit permitted permitted permitted 20 weeks
 Nicaragua prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Niger permitted permitted prohibited permitted prohibited prohibited
 Nigeria [subdivisions] permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Abia permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Adamawa permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Akwa Ibom permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Anambra permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Bauchi permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Bayelsa permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Benue permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Borno permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Cross River permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Delta permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Ebonyi permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Edo permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Ekiti permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Enugu permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Federal Capital Territory permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Gombe permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Imo permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Jigawa permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Kaduna permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Kano permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Katsina permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Kebbi permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Kogi permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Kwara permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Lagos permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Nasarawa permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Niger permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Ogun permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Ondo permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Osun permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Oyo permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Plateau permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Rivers permitted prohibited[bt] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Sokoto permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Taraba permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Yobe permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Zamfara permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Northern Cyprus[213][214] permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 10 weeks
 North Korea permitted[bu] permitted[bu] permitted[bu] permitted[bu] permitted[bu] permitted[bu]
 North Macedonia no limit no limit 22 weeks[bv] 22 weeks[bv] 22 weeks[bv] 12 weeks
 Norway[bw] no limit no limit 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Oman permitted[bx] permitted[bx] prohibited 120 days[bx] prohibited prohibited
 Pakistan[223][224] no limit organ formation[by] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Palau permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Palestine permitted[bz] prohibited[bz] prohibited[bz] prohibited[bz] prohibited prohibited
 Panama no limit prohibited 8 weeks 24 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Papua New Guinea permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Paraguay permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Peru 22 weeks 22 weeks prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Philippines permitted[ca] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Poland no limit no limit 13 weeks prohibited[cb] prohibited[cc] prohibited
 Portugal[236] no limit no limit 16 weeks 24 weeks 10 weeks 10 weeks
 Qatar[237][238] no limit 4 months prohibited 4 months prohibited prohibited
 Romania[239] no limit permitted permitted permitted permitted 14 weeks
 Russia permitted permitted 22 weeks no limit 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Rwanda[240] no limit no limit 22 weeks no limit prohibited prohibited
 Saint Kitts and Nevis permitted permitted[cd] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Saint Lucia[242] no limit no limit 12 weeks prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines[243] permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited
 Samoa[244] 20 weeks 20 weeks prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 San Marino[ce] permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 São Tomé and Príncipe[248] no limit no limit no limit 16 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Saudi Arabia[249] no limit 4 months prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Senegal[250] permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Serbia no limit no limit no limit no limit 10 weeks 10 weeks
 Seychelles 12 weeks[cf] 12 weeks[cf] 12 weeks[cf] 12 weeks[cf] prohibited prohibited
 Sierra Leone permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Singapore no limit no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks
 Slovakia[253][254] no limit 24 weeks permitted permitted 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Slovenia[255] no limit no limit 10 weeks 10 weeks 10 weeks 10 weeks
 Solomon Islands[256] permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Somalia[257][258][cg] permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 South Africa no limit 20 weeks 20 weeks no limit 20 weeks 12 weeks
 South Korea[ch] permitted 24 weeks 24 weeks permitted permitted[ci] permitted[ci]
 South Sudan permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Spain 22 weeks 22 weeks 14 weeks 22 weeks[cj] 14 weeks 14 weeks
 Sri Lanka[264] permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Sudan[265] no limit prohibited 90 days[ck] prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Suriname permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Sweden[266] no limit no limit 18 weeks 18 weeks 18 weeks 18 weeks
 Switzerland[267] no limit no limit 12 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Syria[268] permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Taiwan[269] permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited
 Tajikistan[270] permitted 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Tanzania[cl] no limit permitted[cm] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Thailand[274] no limit no limit no limit no limit 20 weeks 12 weeks
 Togo[275] permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Tonga permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Transnistria[276] no limit no limit 22 weeks permitted 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Trinidad and Tobago[277] permitted[ak] permitted[ak] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Tunisia no limit no limit 12 weeks no limit 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Turkey permitted permitted 20 weeks permitted 10 weeks 10 weeks
 Turkmenistan[278] no limit no limit permitted permitted 22 weeks 5 weeks
 Tuvalu permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Uganda 28 weeks 28 weeks 28 weeks 28 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Ukraine 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks
 United Arab Emirates no limit prohibited prohibited 16 weeks[cn] prohibited prohibited
 United Kingdom [subdivisions] no limit no limit permitted[co] no limit 24 weeks[co] varies[cp]
 England[284] no limit no limit permitted[co] no limit 24 weeks[co] prohibited
 Northern Ireland[283] no limit no limit permitted[co] no limit 24 weeks[co] 12 weeks
 Scotland[284] no limit no limit permitted[co] no limit 24 weeks[co] prohibited
 Wales[284] no limit no limit permitted[co] no limit 24 weeks[co] prohibited
 United States[285][286] [subdivisions] no limit no limit[cq] permitted[cq][b] permitted[cq][b] permitted[cq][b] permitted[cq][b]
 Alabama no limit no limit 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr]
 Alaska no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 Arizona no limit no limit[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr]
 Arkansas[288][289] no limit no limit[cr] no limit[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr]
 California no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 Colorado no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 Connecticut no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 Delaware no limit no limit viability no limit viability viability
 District of Columbia no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 Florida no limit no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks
 Georgia no limit no limit 22 weeks no limit 22 weeks 22 weeks
 Hawaii no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 Idaho[290] no limit no limit[cr] viability viability[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr]
 Illinois no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 Indiana no limit no limit 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks
 Iowa no limit no limit 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks
 Kansas no limit no limit 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks
 Kentucky[291] no limit no limit 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr]
 Louisiana[292] no limit no limit 22 weeks[cr] no limit[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr]
 Maine no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 Maryland no limit no limit viability no limit viability viability
 Massachusetts no limit no limit 24 weeks no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks
 Michigan no limit no limit[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr]
 Minnesota no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 Mississippi no limit no limit[cr] 20 weeks no limit[cr] 20 weeks[cr] 20 weeks[cr]
 Missouri[293] no limit no limit viability[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr]
 Montana no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 Nebraska no limit no limit 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks
 Nevada no limit no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks
 New Hampshire no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 New Jersey no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 New Mexico[294] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 New York no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 North Carolina no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 North Dakota[295] no limit no limit[cr] 22 weeks 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr]
 Ohio no limit no limit 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks
 Oklahoma no limit no limit[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr]
 Oregon no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 Pennsylvania no limit no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks
 Rhode Island no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 South Carolina no limit no limit 22 weeks no limit 22 weeks 22 weeks
 South Dakota[296] no limit no limit[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr]
 Tennessee[297] no limit no limit viability[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr] viability[cr]
 Texas[cs] no limit no limit[cr] heartbeat or viability[cr][b] heartbeat or viability[cr][b] heartbeat or viability[cr][b] heartbeat or viability[cr][b]
 Utah[299] no limit no limit no limit no limit viability[cr] viability[cr]
 Vermont no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit
 Virginia no limit no limit 6 months 6 months 6 months 6 months
 Washington no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 West Virginia no limit no limit[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr]
 Wisconsin no limit no limit[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr] 22 weeks[cr]
 Wyoming no limit no limit viability viability viability viability
 Uruguay[300] no limit no limit 14 weeks[ct] no limit 12 weeks[ct] 12 weeks
 Uzbekistan permitted 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 22 weeks 12 weeks
 Vanuatu permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Vatican City prohibited[cu] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Venezuela[309][310] 22 weeks prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Vietnam permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted 22 weeks[cv]
 Yemen permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Zambia[314] permitted permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited
 Zimbabwe[315] permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited
Country Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request

Autonomous jurisdictions[edit]

The table below summarizes the legal grounds for abortion in autonomous jurisdictions not included in the previous table.

Legal grounds on which abortion is permitted in other autonomous jurisdictions
Jurisdiction Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request
 Akrotiri and Dhekelia[316] permitted permitted prohibited permitted permitted prohibited
 American Samoa[317][318] permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Anguilla[319] no limit 28 weeks prohibited 28 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Aruba[320] permitted[cw] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Bermuda[322] permitted permitted permitted permitted prohibited prohibited
 British Virgin Islands[323] no limit 28 weeks prohibited 28 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Cayman Islands[324] permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Cook Islands[32] permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Curaçao[325] permitted[cw] prohibited[cx] prohibited[cx] prohibited[cx] prohibited[cx] prohibited[cx]
 Falkland Islands[327] no limit no limit prohibited no limit 24 weeks prohibited
 Faroe Islands[328] no limit no limit 16 weeks 16 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Gibraltar[329] no limit no limit 12 weeks[cy] no limit 12 weeks prohibited
 Greenland[331] no limit no limit no limit no limit no limit 12 weeks
 Guam[332] no limit no limit[cz] 26 weeks[cz] 26 weeks[cz] 13 weeks[cz] 13 weeks[cz]
 Guernsey [subdivisions] permitted[da] permitted[da] prohibited varies[db] varies[db] prohibited
 Alderney[334] permitted[da] permitted[da] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Guernsey[336][dc] no limit no limit prohibited 24 weeks 12 weeks prohibited
 Sark[334] permitted[da] permitted[da] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Hong Kong[339] no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks prohibited
 Isle of Man[340] no limit no limit 23 weeks no limit 23 weeks 14 weeks
 Jersey[341] no limit no limit 12 weeks 24 weeks 12 weeks 12 weeks
 Macau[342] no limit no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks prohibited prohibited
 Montserrat[343] no limit viability prohibited viability prohibited prohibited
 Niue[344] permitted permitted prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Northern Mariana Islands[345] no limit[dd] no limit[dd] viability[dd] viability[dd] viability[dd] viability[dd]
 Pitcairn Islands[de] no limit no limit prohibited no limit 24 weeks prohibited
 Puerto Rico[348] no limit no limit viability[df] viability[df] viability[df] viability[df]
 Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha[dg] no limit no limit prohibited no limit 24 weeks prohibited
 Sint Maarten[352] permitted[cw] prohibited[dh] prohibited[dh] prohibited[dh] prohibited[dh] prohibited[dh]
 Tokelau[353] permitted[di] permitted[di] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 Turks and Caicos Islands[355] permitted[dj] permitted[dj] prohibited prohibited prohibited prohibited
 U.S. Virgin Islands[356] no limit no limit 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks 24 weeks
Jurisdiction Risk to life Risk to health Rape Fetal impairment Economic or social On request

Europe[edit]

Conscientious objection to abortion by doctors in Europe[357]
  Allowed
  Not allowed

Despite a wide variation in the restrictions under which it is permitted, abortion is legal in most European countries. The exceptions are the mini-state of Malta,[359] the micro-states of Vatican City, Liechtenstein, and Andorra, and the large state of Poland, where abortion is illegal or severely restricted.[360][361] The other state with existent, but less severe restrictions is Monaco. All the remaining states make abortion legal on request or for social and economic reasons during the first trimester. When it comes to later-term abortions, there are very few with laws as liberal as those of the United States.[362] Restrictions on abortion are most stringent in a few countries that are strongly observant of the Catholic religion.[360]

North America[edit]

Canada[edit]

Abortion in Canada is legal at all stages of pregnancy (regardless of the reason) and is publicly funded as a medical procedure under the combined effects of the federal Canada Health Act and provincial health-care systems.[363] However, access to services and resources varies by region.[364] While some non-legal barriers to access continue to exist,[363] Canada is the only nation with absolutely no legal restrictions to access abortion services.[365][366] Few providers in Canada offer abortion care beyond 23 weeks and 6 days.[367]

Formally banned in 1869, abortion would remain illegal in Canada law for the next 100 years.[368] In 1969, the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968–69 legalized some abortions, as long as a committee of doctors certified that continuing the pregnancy would likely endanger the woman's life or health.[368] In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Morgentaler that the existing law was unconstitutional, and struck down the 1969 Act.[369] The ruling found that criminalization of abortion and legal restrictions violated a woman's right to “life, liberty and security of the person” guaranteed under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms established in 1982.[370]

United States[edit]

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide. It established a minimal period during which abortion must be legal (with more or fewer restrictions throughout the pregnancy). This basic framework, modified in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), is still in effect today. In accordance with Planned Parenthood v. Casey, states cannot place legal restrictions posing an undue burden for "the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus."[371] Although this legal framework established by the Supreme Court is very liberal (particularly with regard to the gestational age), in practice the effective availability of abortion varies significantly from state to state.[372] On 29 June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed abortion rights after striking down a Louisiana law limiting abortion.[373] On September 1, 2021, the state of Texas passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, banning most procedures after six weeks.[374] The Supreme Court will hear a case in 2021 that challenges a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks. Roe v. Wade will also be revisited.

Countries with more restrictive laws[edit]

Supporter of legalized abortion at a rally in Paraná, Argentina. Argentina had restrictive laws until 2021.

According to a report by Women on Waves, approximately 25% of the world's population lives in countries with "highly restrictive abortion laws"—that is, laws which either completely ban abortion, or allow it only to save the mother's life. This category includes several countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific region, as well as Malta in Europe.[359][375] The Centre For Reproductive Rights report that 'The inability to access safe and legal abortion care impacts 700 million women of reproductive age' [376]

Latin America is the region with the most restrictive abortion laws. Fewer than 3%[needs update] of the women in this region live in countries with liberal abortion laws—that is, where abortion is permitted either without restriction as to reason or on socioeconomic grounds.[377] Some of the countries of Central America, notably El Salvador, have also come to international attention due to very forceful enforcement of the laws, including the incarceration of a gang-rape victim for homicide when she gave birth to a stillborn son and was accused of attempting an illegal abortion.[378][379][380]

Beginning of pregnancy controversy[edit]

Controversy over the beginning of pregnancy occurs in different contexts, particularly in a legal context, and is particularly discussed within the abortion debate from the point of measuring the gestational age of the pregnancy. Pregnancy can be measured from a number of convenient points, including the day of last menstruation, ovulation, fertilization, implantation and chemical detection. A common medical way to calculate gestational age is to measure pregnancy from the first day of the last menstrual cycle.[dk] However, not all legal systems use this measure for the purpose of abortion law; for example countries such as Belgium, France, Luxembourg use the term "pregnancy" in the abortion law to refer to the time elapsed from the sexual act that led to conception, which is presumed to be 2 weeks after the end of the last menstrual period.[dl]

Exceptions in abortion law[edit]

Exceptions in abortion laws occur either in countries where abortion is as a general rule illegal or in countries that have abortion on request with gestational limits (for example if a country allows abortion on request until 12 weeks, it may create exceptions to this general gestation limit for later abortions in specific circumstances).[386]

There are a few exceptions commonly found in abortion laws. Legal domains which do not have abortion on demand will often allow it when the health of the mother is at stake. "Health of the mother" may mean something different in different areas: for example, prior to December 2018, the Republic of Ireland allowed abortion only to save the mother's life, whereas abortion opponents in the United States argue health exceptions are used so broadly as to render a ban essentially meaningless.[387]

Laws allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest often differ. For example, before Roe v. Wade, thirteen US states allowed abortion in the case of either rape or incest, but only Mississippi permitted abortion of pregnancies due to rape, and no state permitted it for just incest.[388]

Many[vague] countries allow for abortion only through the first or second trimester, and some may allow abortion in cases of fetal defects, e.g., Down syndrome or where the pregnancy is the result of a sexual crime.

Other related laws[edit]

Laws in some countries with liberal abortion laws protect access to abortion services. Such legislation often seeks to guard abortion clinics against obstruction, vandalism, picketing, and other actions, or to protect patients and employees of such facilities from threats and harassment. Other laws create a perimeter around a facility, known variously as a "buffer zone", "bubble zone", or "access zone", where demonstrations opposing abortion are not permitted. Protests and other displays are restricted to a certain distance from the building, which varies depending on the law. Similar zones have also been created to protect the homes of abortion providers and clinic staff. Bubble zone laws are divided into "fixed" and "floating" categories. Fixed bubble zone laws apply to the static area around the facility itself, and floating laws to objects in transit, such as people or cars.[389] Because of conflicts between anti-abortion activists on one side and women seeking abortion and medical staff who provides abortion on the other side, some laws are quite strict: in South Africa for instance, any person who prevents the lawful termination of a pregnancy or obstructs access to a facility for the termination of a pregnancy faces up to 10 years in prison (section 10.1 (c) of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act[390]).

On 3 November 2020, an association of 20 Kenyan charities urged the government of Kenya to withdraw from the Geneva Consensus Declaration (GCD), a US-led international accord that sought to limit access to abortion for girls and women around the world. GCD was signed by 33 nations, on 22 October 2020.[391]

Judicial decisions[edit]

Year Jurisdiction Description Abortion access affirmed or expanded?
1879  Canada Abortion trial of Emily Stowe
1938  United Kingdom R v Bourne:
Abortion in case of risk to physical and mental health included in risk to life. Decision also implemented by some British territories and their successors.
Partially
1952  Canada Azoulay v R
1969  Australia R v Davidson (Menhennitt ruling) [1969] VicRp 85, VR 667, Supreme Court (Vic, Australia) Partially
1973  United States Roe v. Wade:
Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in the entire country.
Yes
Doe v. Bolton:
Supreme Court stated that a woman may obtain an abortion after viability, if necessary to protect her health.
1975  Germany German Federal Constitutional Court abortion decision Law restricted
1976  Canada Morgentaler v R Restrictions upheld
1980  Puerto Rico Pueblo v. Duarte:
Application of Roe v. Wade to Puerto Rico.[348]
Yes
1981  United States H. L. v. Matheson Restrictions upheld
1983 City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health Yes
1988  Canada R v Morgentaler
1989 Borowski v Canada (AG)
 United States Webster v. Reproductive Health Services Restrictions upheld
 Canada Tremblay v Daigle Yes
1990  United States Hodgson v. Minnesota Partially
1992  Ireland Attorney General v. X:
Supreme Court established the right to an abortion if the woman's life is at risk, including risk of suicide.
 United States Planned Parenthood v. Casey Yes
1993 Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic
 Canada R v Morgentaler Yes
1997  Poland Abortion for economic or social reasons ruled unconstitutional.[233][235] Law restricted
1998  South Africa Christian Lawyers Association v Minister of Health:
Law allowing abortion on demand was ruled constitutional.
Legalization upheld
2000  United States Stenberg v. Carhart:
Supreme Court struck down Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban.
Yes
2006  Australia R v Sood (No 3) [2006] NSWSC 762, Supreme Court (NSW, Australia)
 United States Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of New England
Gonzales v. Carhart: Supreme Court upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Restrictions upheld
 Colombia Constitutional Court allowed abortion in case of rape, danger to woman's health and fetal deformation.[392] Partially
2007  Slovakia Constitutional Court ruled law allowing abortion on demand constitutional.[393] Legalization upheld
2009  Council of Europe A, B and C v Ireland:
The court rejected the argument that article 8 conferred a right to abortion, but found that Ireland had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to provide an accessible and effective procedure by which a woman can have established whether she qualifies for a legal abortion.
Partially
 Nepal Lakshmi v. Government of Nepal:
Supreme Court upheld and expanded legal abortion.[394]
Yes
2012  Brazil ADPF 54:
Abortion allowed in case of anencephaly.
Partially
2015  Dominican Republic Constitutional Court ruled law allowing abortion in certain cases unconstitutional.[395] Law restricted
2016  United States Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt Yes
2017  Chile Constitutional Court ruled law allowing abortion in certain cases constitutional.[396][99] Partially
 Croatia Constitutional Court ruled law allowing abortion on demand constitutional.[397] Legalization upheld
2018  United Kingdom Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission v Department of Justice
2019  South Korea Abortion allowed on request. Decision took effect in 2021.[261] Yes
 Kenya Abortion allowed in case of rape.[163] Partially
2020  Poland Constitutional Tribunal ruled abortion in case of fetal deformity unconstitutional. Decision was implemented on 27 January 2021.[234] Law restricted
 Colombia Constitutional Court ruled law allowing abortion in certain cases constitutional rejecting both total ban and legalization.[398] Law upheld
2021  Ecuador Abortion allowed in case of rape.[118] Partially
 Mexico Penalties for abortion ruled unconstitutional.[25][26]
Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional to set a limit for abortion in case of rape.[195][196]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Year when all subnational jurisdictions legalized abortion on request.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i In Texas, a law took effect on 1 September 2021 prohibiting abortion after an embryonic or fetal heartbeat is detected, except for medical emergencies, conflicting with judicial precedent.[287]
  3. ^ The law legalising abortion on request was approved in 1978 and came into force in 1979.[17]
  4. ^ After a supreme court decision, the law only removes punishment for abortion on request but with no statement about its legality.
  5. ^ The law legalizing abortion on request was approved in 2014 and came into force in 2015.[20]
  6. ^ The law legalizing abortion on request was approved in 2020 and came into force in 2021.[21]
  7. ^ a b c The law of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan consisted primarily of statutory law and a limited use of Islamic jurisprudence.[35] The Afghan penal code criminalized abortion and only removed the penalty if the abortion was prescribed by a doctor to save the woman's life,[36][37] but other sources said that Afghanistan also allowed abortion in case of fetal impairment,[38] and rarely for economic reasons if accepted by a religious council.[39] After the 2021 Taliban offensive, the new government announced its intention to implement Islamic law exclusively, and it is unclear which legal grounds for abortion it accepts.[40]
  8. ^ The UN source says that this ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is accepted as a general legal principle.[43] However, other sources say that abortion is not legally allowed under any circumstance in Andorra.[44]
  9. ^ The UN source incorrectly shows Angola as allowing abortion on request, citing a penal code draft from 2014 that did not become law.[45] The version of the penal code enacted in 2020 and entered into force in 2021 allows abortion only in certain circumstances.[46]
  10. ^ UN says it may be performed after 16 weeks under very excepcional circumstances.[48]
  11. ^ a b c In South Australia, abortion is permitted for risk to the woman's life or health and for fetal impairment, and the law says that "account may be taken of the pregnant woman's actual or reasonably foreseeable environment".[64] A bill legalizing abortion on request up to 22 weeks and 6 days of gestation has been passed and received royal assent but still awaits a proclamation to establish the commencement date.[65][66][67]
  12. ^ This ground is permitted in all subdivisions except South Australia and the Northern Territory.[53][54]
  13. ^ Applies the laws of Western Australia.[57]
  14. ^ Applies the laws of Western Australia.[58]
  15. ^ Applies the laws of the Australian Capital Territory.[59]
  16. ^ Applies the laws of New South Wales.[61]
  17. ^ a b c If the woman was under age 14 when getting pregnant, no limit is specified.[71]
  18. ^ a b c The penal code says that abortion is permitted for therapeutic purposes but is unclear whether it means only to save the woman's life or also to preserve her health.
  19. ^ a b c d e The UN source marks it as a legal ground because the Penal Code explicitly prohibits abortion only if performed without the consent of the woman and of a medical practitioner.[74] However, the decree regulating medical practice prohibits abortion unless the pregnancy threatens the woman's life.[75]
  20. ^ a b c d e The UN source does not explicitly mark this legal ground for abortion but says that "Menstrual regulation is available on request for women with a last menstrual period of 10 weeks or less."[32]
  21. ^ The law permits abortion for medical reasons without gestational limit, for social reasons up to 22 weeks of gestation, and on request up to 12 weeks of gestation.[77] By regulation, fetal impairment is included as a medical reason,[78] and rape is included as a social reason.[79]
  22. ^ a b c Defined as 12 weeks from conception, considered as 14 weeks from the last menstrual period.[80]
  23. ^ The penal code prohibits abortion except to save the woman's life, when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, or when the woman is of unsound mental condition.[81] Guidelines for health workers mention grounds of risk to the woman's health and fetal impairment, and define a gestational limit of 180 days.[82]
  24. ^ a b This ground is only cited in guidelines for health workers, not by law.[81][82]
  25. ^ This ground is established by a regulation implementing a judicial decision, although it is not mentioned in the decision itself or in the law.[83]
  26. ^ a b Continues to apply the abortion law of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[84][85]
  27. ^ a b c The penal code criminalizes abortion and only removes the penalty if the abortion is done to save the woman's life or if the pregnancy is the result of rape.[88] Due to a decision by the Supreme Federal Court, abortion is also permitted in case of anencephaly, and it may also be authorized by court order in other fatal cases of fetal impairment.[89][90][91]
  28. ^ The penal code says that social demands are taken into account in a conviction for abortion.[94] It is unclear if this circumstance reduces the penalty or may remove it.
  29. ^ There is no abortion law in Canada, but its subdivisions and professional bodies have regulations restricting the procedure to various grounds or gestational limits.[97][98]
  30. ^ If the woman is under age 14, the gestational limit is 14 weeks.[99]
  31. ^ Mainland China.
  32. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law[101] but it is accepted as a general legal principle.[citation needed]
  33. ^ A judicial pardon may be granted to the woman for an abortion on this ground.[102]
  34. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is accepted as a general legal principle, allowed by regulation and established by treaty.[105][106]
  35. ^ a b c This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is established by treaty, whose application is requested by the Constitutional Court.[105][107]
  36. ^ If the woman is of young age or immature and so unable to care for the child in a proper way, no limit is specified.[108]
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is accepted as a general legal principle.
  38. ^ The UN source says that this ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is accepted as a general legal principle. However, other sources say that abortion is not legally allowed under any circumstance in the Dominican Republic.[112][113]
  39. ^ The UN source shows East Timor as allowing abortion also in case of risk to the woman's health or fetal impairment, citing the penal code enacted in March 2009 and entered into force in June 2009.[114][115] However, the penal code was amended in July 2009 to restrict abortion only to save the woman's life.[116][115][117]
  40. ^ This ground is explicitly mentioned in the law only in case of rape of a woman with a mental disability, but it is also established by judicial decision in case of rape of any woman.[118]
  41. ^ a b c If the woman is under age 15 or over age 45, the gestational limit is 22 weeks.[120]
  42. ^ Including the Åland Islands.[122]
  43. ^ Including Overseas France.[123]
  44. ^ a b c Defined as 12 weeks of pregnancy, considered as 14 weeks from the last menstrual period.[124]
  45. ^ a b c Abortion for this ground is not explicitly lawful, but the criminal code specifies that abortion is not punished if the woman requests it, has obtained counselling, and it is done within 12 weeks from conception. The woman's living conditions are also taken into account in the indication of a serious risk to her health.[131][132]
  46. ^ a b If the woman is a minor or incapable of resisting, the gestational limit is 19 weeks.[133]
  47. ^ A new penal code, published by presidential decree in July 2020, would allow abortion on request in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The code is set to take effect in July 2022 unless modified by the parliament to be elected before then.[136]
  48. ^ a b c Up to 18 weeks if the woman is incapacitated or did not recognize the pregnancy due to illness or medical error, or in case of failure of a health institution.[138]
  49. ^ Up to 24 weeks in case of prolongation of the diagnostic procedure, or no limit in case of fetal abnormality incompatible with life after birth.[138]
  50. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law,[143] but it may be included in other legal grounds if the pregnancy causes unbearable hardship, such as significant harm to mental health or risk of suicide.[144][better source needed]
  51. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is accepted as a general legal principle.[145][146]
  52. ^ a b This ground is only cited in instructions to health committees, not by law.[147]
  53. ^ a b If the risk to life or health is immediate, no gestational limit is specified.[148]
  54. ^ If the woman is under age 18 or over age 40, or if she is not married or the pregnancy is not from marriage.[149]
  55. ^ a b The UN source marks it as a legal ground but it is only established by treaty, not by law and not implemented as of 2020.[151][152]
  56. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is accepted as a general legal principle and established by judicial decision.[153][154][155][156]
  57. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is established by judicial decision.[153][154][155][156]
  58. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is established by judicial decision.[163] It is also mentioned in the National Guidelines on Management of Sexual Violence.[164]
  59. ^ a b c d e f The penal code prohibits "unlawful abortion", defined as "abortion not authorized by medical doctor commission". The penal code also lists the principles of legitimate defense and necessity to save one's life, which lead to exemption from penal liability.[169] A decision by the Ministry of Health states that abortion is medically authorized, up to 28 weeks of gestation, due to certain medical conditions of the woman or fetus, rape, contraception failure, and certain socioeconomic conditions of the woman or her family.[170] A WHO source also shows Laos as allowing abortion on request up to 12 weeks of gestation, citing guidelines for health workers from 2016,[171] but they were issued before the penal code of 2017 defined "unlawful abortion" and are not mentioned in the decision by the Ministry of Health of 2021.
  60. ^ a b c If the woman is under age 13 or over age 49, no limit is specified.[178]
  61. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law.[180] The UN source says that it is accepted as a general legal principle,[28] but other sources say that abortion is not legally allowed under any circumstance in Madagascar.[181][182]
  62. ^ The law of Maldives is a combination of statutory and Islamic law.[185] The Maldivian penal code criminalizes abortion after 120 days of gestation, except for risk to the woman's life.[186] The Maldivian Islamic jurisprudence allows abortion only for risk to the woman's life, without gestational limit, or in cases of rape, incest, or certain medical conditions of a fetus conceived in marriage, up to 120 days of gestation.[187][188]
  63. ^ Only for certain medical conditions of a fetus conceived in marriage.[187][188]
  64. ^ Law prohibits abortion without exceptions. In practice only indirect abortion is allowed under the principle of double effect.[191][192]
  65. ^ This ground is permitted by law in all subdivisions except Guanajuato and Querétaro. In these two states, people who violate it may be prosecuted but not imprisoned, and they may request judicial relief by amparo.[25][26]
  66. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck This ground is permitted by law in some states and Mexico City. In other states, people who violate it may be prosecuted but not imprisoned, and they may request judicial relief by amparo.[25][26]
  67. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag Each state stipulates in its penal code a different gestational limit; namely, 90 days, 12 weeks, 3 months from conception, and some do not specify a limit. In July 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to set a limit for an abortion on this ground.[195][196]
  68. ^ a b c This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is established by judicial decision.[25][26]
  69. ^ In 2016, the government of Morocco proposed allowing abortion in cases of rape, incest, mental disability and fetal impairment. However, the parliament did not approve the proposal,[201][202] and as of 2021 the abortion articles in the penal code remain unchanged.[203][204]
  70. ^ May be permitted with no gestational limit in case the fetus is not viable.[205]
  71. ^ Including the Caribbean Netherlands.[208][209]
  72. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r The Criminal Code of the predecessor of Nigeria prohibited abortion except to save the woman's life. A judicial decision on a similar law in the parent country allowed abortion also to preserve the woman's health, but the West African Court of Appeal, despite applying the reasoning of the parent country's decision, affirmed only the ground to save the woman's life in Nigerian law. The Criminal Code and its judicial precedent remain in force in the southern states of Nigeria. In the states corresponding to the former Northern Region, the Penal Code replaced the Criminal Code and its judicial precedent, and it also prohibits abortion except to save the woman's life.[211][212]
  73. ^ a b c d e f The criminal law of North Korea, as amended up to 2009, does not mention abortion.[215] In 2015 the North Korean government issued a directive prohibiting medical professionals from performing abortions but did not indicate a penalty for doing so.[216] In 2016, the government stated that abortion was "legal" and "provided upon request by the woman concerned for reasons of risks to her life, physical and mental health and fetal malformation", but it is unclear whether these were the only permitted reasons.[217] It has also been reported that repatriated pregnant women are forced to have abortions to prevent children of mixed ethnicity.[218]
  74. ^ a b c May be permitted with no gestational limit in some cases.[219]
  75. ^ Including Svalbard.[220]
  76. ^ a b c The penal law prohibits abortion without any explicit exception, but it exempts from penal liability actions done by necessity to protect oneself or others from a severe and imminent danger, and in the practice of agreed medical activities or urgent medical intervention.[221] The law regulating medical practice prohibits abortion except for risk to the woman's life or of unbearable illness, and in case of fetal impairment up to 120 days of gestation.[222]
  77. ^ Different sources specify this limit as 120 days or four months of gestation.[225][226]
  78. ^ a b c d The law prohibits abortion except to save the woman's life.[227] However, some sources say that abortion may also be permitted for health reasons and in cases of rape and fetal impairment,[228][229][230] while other souces say that it is not possible to obtain an abortion in any circumstance.[231]
  79. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law[232] but it is accepted as a general legal principle.[citation needed]
  80. ^ This ground was mentioned in the law but it was invalidated by a judicial decision in 2020.[233][234]
  81. ^ This ground was mentioned in the law but it was invalidated by a judicial decision in 1997.[233][235]
  82. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law[241] but it is established by judicial decision.[49]: 15 
  83. ^ On 26 September 2021, a referendum was approved proposing to legalize abortion on request up to 12 weeks of gestation or for risk to the woman's life or health, or fetal impairment. The parliament of San Marino must still make the relevant changes to the law before the proposal can take effect.[245][246][247]
  84. ^ a b c d In some cases, abortion may be allowed up to fetal viability or 26 weeks of gestation.[251][252]
  85. ^ Including Somaliland.[259]
  86. ^ The laws of South Korea prohibited abortion except for risk to the woman's health, rape, incest, or certain medical conditions, up to 24 weeks of gestation.[260] On 11 April 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled that the abortion restrictions were unconstitutional, giving the legislature until the end of 2020 to amend the laws to allow abortion on request with some gestational limit. In October 2020 the government proposed a limit of 14 weeks for abortion on request and 24 weeks for certain other cases, but the legislature did not approve this or any other proposal on the subject before the end of the year, so the abortion laws became automatically invalid on 1 January 2021.[261] As of August 2021, the legislature had still not approved any of the proposals, leaving abortion decriminalized without a clear gestational limit.[262]
  87. ^ a b This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is established by judicial decision.[261]
  88. ^ In some cases, no limit is specified.[263]
  89. ^ From conception.
  90. ^ In mainland Tanzania, articles 150 to 152 of the penal code prohibit abortion done "unlawfully", and article 230 of the same law permits abortion to preserve the woman's life. Article 219 additionally prohibits "child destruction", meaning abortion after fetal viability, presumed at 28 weeks of pregnancy, but still permits it to preserve the woman's life.[271] In Zanzibar, the penal act has equivalent articles 129 to 131, 213 and 200.[272]
  91. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law. A judicial decision by the East African Court of Appeal, with jurisdiction over the predecessors of Tanzania, allowed abortion also to preserve the woman's health, and sources state that this decision remains binding after independence.[273]
  92. ^ Lethal anomalies only.[279]
  93. ^ a b c d e f g h i j This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is considered to be included in a ground for preserving physical or mental health.[280][281][282]
  94. ^ This ground is permitted only in Northern Ireland, up to 12 weeks of gestation.[283]
  95. ^ a b c d e In some states, this ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is established by judicial decision.
  96. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is established by judicial decision.
  97. ^ A state law prohibits abortion unless the mother's life is in danger, but this law is invalidated by a judicial decision. Another law prohibits abortion after an embryonic or fetal heartbeat is detected, except for medical emergencies,[287] and ordinances in about 30 cities prohibit abortion except when the woman's life is in danger,[298] conflicting with judicial precedent.
  98. ^ a b A judge may also remove the penalty for abortion on this ground in the first 3 months from conception.[301]
  99. ^ The law of Vatican City is primarily based on the canon law of the Catholic Church and applies the Italian penal code in force in 1929 with local modifications.[302] Both sources of law prohibit abortion without explicitly mentioning any exception.[303][304] Article 49 of the penal code lists the principle of necessity to save one's life, which removes punishment for any action that would otherwise be a crime,[305][306] but the Church's official interpretation of canon 1398 is more restrictive, allowing in such cases only indirect abortion under the principle of double effect.[307][308]
  100. ^ Depending on the capacity at each level of hospital.[311][312][313]
  101. ^ a b c This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is accepted as a general legal principle.[321]
  102. ^ a b c d e Although illegal, the government does not prosecute abortions performed under rules similar to other countries, including on request.[326]
  103. ^ This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is considered to be included in the ground for preserving physical or mental health.[329][330]
  104. ^ a b c d e Although the law permits abortions on request, no medical providers in the territory perform them except to save the woman's life.[318][333]
  105. ^ a b c d e f In Alderney and Sark, this ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law.[334] A judicial decision on an identical law in the parent country clarified that the law always implicitly allowed abortion at least to save the woman's life, and the decision allowed it also to preserve her health.[335] It is unclear whether Alderney and Sark apply only the original legal principle or also the judicial decision.
  106. ^ a b This ground is permitted in the jurisdiction of Guernsey, but not in Alderney or Sark.[334]
  107. ^ In July 2021, the parliament passed a law removing the gestational limit on abortion for fetal impairment and increasing it to 24 weeks for social reasons, but it still awaits royal assent and regulations to establish the commencement date.[337][338]
  108. ^ a b c d e f The territory's constitution prohibits abortion "except as provided by law", and the territory has no law about the subject. However, according to an opinion issued by the territory's attorney general, U.S. judicial decisions on abortion apply to the territory, thus allowing abortion on request.[345] Yet, in practice, authorized medical providers in the territory perform abortions only to save the woman's life and possibly in case of rape.[346][318]
  109. ^ Applies English law in force in 2010 unless locally modified.[347]
  110. ^ a b c d This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law but it is established by judicial decision.[349]
  111. ^ Applies English law in force on 1 January 2006 unless locally modified, in each part of the territory.[350] Tristan da Cunha explicitly applies the abortion law of the United Kingdom with minor modifications.[351]
  112. ^ a b c d e Although illegal, the government does not prosecute abortions performed under rules similar to other countries, including on request.[321]
  113. ^ a b This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law. The judicial handbook says that abortion is permitted for medical reasons but is unclear whether it means only to save the woman's life or also to preserve her health.[354]
  114. ^ a b This ground is not explicitly mentioned in the law. A judicial decision on an identical law in the parent country clarified that the law always implicitly allowed abortion at least to save the woman's life, and the decision allowed it also to preserve her health.[335] It is unclear whether the territory applies only the original legal principle or also the judicial decision.
  115. ^ Some examples of gestational age calculated from the first day of the last menstrual cycle:[381][382][383][384][385]
  116. ^ For example Luxembourg abortion law states: "Avant la fin de la 12e semaine de grossesse ou avant la fin de la 14e semaine d'aménorrhée[...]" which translates to "Before the end of the 12th week of pregnancy or before the end of the 14th week of amenorrhea".[179]

References[edit]

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  229. ^ For Palestinian women, abortion can mean lies, jail or worse, Reuters, 8 March 2016. "When fetal impairment is detected, an abortion can be performed if both parents consent, [...] the ministry said."
  230. ^ Palestine: 'Marry-Your-Rapist' Law Repealed, Human Rights Watch, 10 May 2018. "Salhieh, the chief prosecutor, said that prosecutors obtained permission for seven women to have abortions in 2017, all in cases in which the women alleged that the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest and they were in the early stages of pregnancy."
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