Which countries is abortion illegal in?

WOMEN'S bodily autonomy is a hotly debated topic, with the rights of unborn fetuses clashing with those of the mother-to-be.

Many countries have complete bans on abortions, or partial bans allowing it only in a few instances – here's every country where it is illegal to get an abortion.

Which countries is abortion illegal in?

Abortion rights vary across the world, with most countries in Europe offering safe and legal abortions.

All abortion laws come with some limitations such as a gestational period limit – in the UK this is normally up to 24 weeks.

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Countries where abortion is completely illegal

In a country in which abortions are illegal, no abortion can take place even if it is a medical emergency.

Often unsafe abortions still take place in these countries, just without the sanitary tools, space and protection.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) define unsafe abortions as “a procedure for terminating an unintended pregnancy carried out either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment that does not confirm to minimal medical standards, or both.”

  • Congo
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Madagascar
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Mauritania
  • Nicaragua
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Suriname

Countries where abortion is illegal except to save the mother's life

Many countries ban right to choose abortions but will allow for abortions in a medical emergency, such as to save the pregnant person's life.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, banning abortions does not significantly lower the rate of them – in countries with abortion bans 37 people in every 1,000 will have an abortion.

This is slightly higher, but not statistically significant compared to the rate of 34 people in every 1,000 having an abortion in countries which allow the procedure.

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Chile
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Brazil
  • Gabon
  • Guatemala
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Malawi
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Soloman Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

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When did abortion become legal in the UK?

The Abortion Act 1967 legalised abortions in the UK under strict legislation.

Terminating a pregnancy up to 28 weeks was permitted by this bill as a medical procedure on the NHS, across England, Wales and Scotland.

Northern Ireland was not covered by the original act meaning abortions were only legal in the case of risk of death to the mother.

On October 21, 2019, sections 58 and 59 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 were repealed and terminaitng a pregnancy became legal for Northern Ireland.

You can get an abortion in the UK for many reasons such as risk to health (including mental health), risk that the baby will be disabled, and other socio-economic reasons.

Women are able to get this abortion up to 24 weeks, or in special circumstances up to 28 weeks.

An ONS study revealed that a quarter of all pregnancies in the UK end in abortion.

Is abortion legal in the US?

Abortion is legal in the US due to a law set by a landmark case – Roe v Wade 1973.

This law could be repealled if a leaked document recetly released is to be believed.

The Supreme Court are considering overturning the landmark ruling, meaning legal and most importantly safe abortions would no longer be guaranteed across America.

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Each state can restrict abortion rights to different levels with places such as Texas making terminating a pregnancy illegal after six weeks.

American medical facilities are often picketed by groups protesting abortion and the topic remains a emotive and highly debated point.

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