It’s possible that the United States will be one of the few countries to reverse a decades-long worldwide trend toward growing access to abortion, if it overturns the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and opens the door for several dozen states to limit or criminalize abortion.
As the Supreme Court considers the legitimacy of a Mississippi statute banning most abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy, having no exceptions for incest or rape, groups on both sides of the issue continue to contend that their views are in keeping with international standards.
According to a recent study, several nations have identical time-period regulations, but some give women more access to abortions, while others don’t ask for a justification before the procedure is approved.
Approximately 12 weeks of pregnancy is the most prevalent temporal or gestational restriction in these nations, as per the Center for Reproductive Rights, that campaigns for extending access to abortion globally. Abortion is permitted in more than 70 countries without any rationale.
However, many provide extensive exceptions beyond that point for grounds of social, economic, or physical or mental health.
“If the U.S. were to turn back Roe or were to decrease the gestational limits around abortion, they would really be a global outlier compared to what we’ve seen worldwide in abortion law trends,” stated CRP’s director of strategic initiatives, Katy Mayall.
Abortion was permitted in places like India and Israel in the same time period as the Roe decision. A total of 60 countries, including Thailand, New Zealand, and a multitude of Latin American countries with strong Catholic populations, have relaxed their abortion restrictions since the Center for Reproductive Rights started monitoring in 1994, Mayall said.
Following the “green wave” protest movement that started in 2015, Ecuador, Argentina, and Colombia have also decriminalized abortions in certain situations. A new draft of Chile’s constitution, which might be passed later this year, could see Chile to be the first Latin American country which will constitutionally protect women’s right to an abortion, according to a report by Reuters.
Voters in Ireland, fed up with women being forced to fly to the United Kingdom to end their pregnancies, overturned the country’s constitutional prohibition on abortion in 2018.
Abortion laws are relatively lax in a few of Africa’s 54 nations, including Tunisia, South Africa, and Zambia. In October, Benin legalized abortions up to the 12th week of pregnancy under a number of circumstances.