Is the Rest of the World Divided Over Abortion Like We Are in the U.S.?
Elections have consequences and former President Donald Trump's additions to the U.S. Supreme Court have placed Roe v. Wade and the right to an abortion in jeopardy. What's the abortion debate like around the world and furthermore, is there a debate, at all?
It turns out that abortion is generally legal throughout almost all of the developed world. 67 countries throughout the world allow abortion for pregnancies with a gestational limit of between 12 and 24 weeks, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. This includes countries such as Canada, Russia, China, Australia and most of Europe.
Great Britain is among 14 countries around the world which "consider a woman’s actual or reasonably foreseeable environment and her social or economic circumstances in considering the potential impact of pregnancy and childbearing," according to CFRR. The laws are generally interpreted liberally to allow for abortions, in most cases.
There are 56 countries, mostly in Africa, the Middle East and South America, which allow for abortion for "health or therapeutic" reasons. These nations with significant restrictions include Saudi Arabia, Poland, Pakistan, Malaysia and Peru.
Abortion is allowed only to save the woman's life in places like Mexico, Brazil, Afghanistan, Syria, and 35 other countries in the world. Meanwhile, there are 26 countries, mostly third world or deeply religious nations, where abortion is absolutely against the law. "The laws of the countries in this category do not permit abortion under any circumstances, including when the woman's life or health is at risk."
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce their final decision on the Mississippi Roe v. Wade case that was leaked this week. If the Justice Alito majority opinion holds true, the abortion decision will go back to each individual state. Congress could also pass laws regarding abortion access, but it would seem unlikely based on the current makeup of the U.S. Senate.