Abortion law

Abortion law permits, prohibits, restricts, or otherwise regulates the availability of abortion. Abortion has been a controversial subject in many societies through history on religious, moral, ethical, practical, and political grounds. It has been banned frequently and otherwise limited by law. However, 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] 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. Abortion laws vary widely by country. Three countries in Latin America (Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Nicaragua) and two in Europe (Malta and the Holy See) have banned abortions entirely,[3] but life-saving abortions are allowed in Malta in practice.[4] South Korea also has this law, although it is currently under reconstruction after it was judged "against the constitution". This law may be permanently deleted if National Congress of South Korea cannot reconstruct the law until December 31st, 2020.

Abortion Laws
International status of abortion law. In some cases, this map may not accurately depict the content of this article.
    Legal on request
    Restricted to cases of maternal life, mental health, physical health, rape, fetal defects, and/or socioeconomic factors
    Restricted to cases of maternal life, mental health, physical health, rape and/or fetal defects
    Restricted to cases of maternal life, mental health, physical health and/or rape
    Restricted to cases of maternal life, mental health and/or physical health
    Restricted to cases of maternal life
    Illegal with no exceptions
    No information

History

Abortion has existed since ancient times, with natural abortifacients being found amongst a wide variety of tribal people and in most written sources. 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 law 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 life of the woman, and in some cases on woman's request. Under Vladimir Lenin, the Soviet Union legalized abortions on request in 1920.[5][6][7][8][9] 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 tsarists 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 the 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.[10] 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 1 and the Russian Civil War.[11][12][13] 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, 1952 in Yugoslavia (on a limited basis), and 1955 in the Soviet Union (on demand). Some Soviet allies (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania) legalized abortion in the late 1950s under pressure from the Soviets.[14]

On 21 October 2011, the Russian Parliament passed a law restricting abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, with an exception up to 22 weeks if the pregnancy was the result of rape, and for medical necessity it can be performed at any point during pregnancy.[15] The new law also made mandatory a waiting period of two to seven days before an abortion can be performed, to allow the woman to "reconsider her decision".[15] Abortion can only be performed in licensed institutions (typically hospitals or women's clinics) and by physicians who have specialized training. The physician can refuse to perform the abortion, except the abortions for medical necessity.[15] Abortion has remained legal on demand with these restrictions in Russia up to the present day, although that may change. Citing demographic, economic, and moral concerns, the pro-life parties of Russia, with some measured sympathy from president Vladimir Putin, have been pressuring the government to ban abortion outright, or at least restrict its availability. In particular, the Russian Duma has been debating a bill since 2015 to remove financial coverage for abortion from the national healthcare system.[16]

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 (1980), 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 the former East Germany, a compromise was reached which deemed most abortions up to 12 weeks legal. 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".[17] See also: Islam and abortion.

International law

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

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 is only legal in Cuba (1965) and Uruguay (2012)[18] It is also legal in Mexico City (the law on abortion in Mexico varies by state[19]).

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.[20] K.L. received the compensation in 2016.[20] 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

Vigilia por la votación de la Ley de Interrupción Voluntaria del Embarazo en Paraná 24
Supporter of legalized abortion at a rally in Paraná, Argentina

While abortions are legal under certain conditions in most countries, these conditions vary widely. According to the United Nations publication World Abortion Policies 2013,[21] abortion is allowed in most countries (97 percent) in order to save a woman's life. Other commonly-accepted reasons are preserving physical (68 percent) or mental health (65 percent). In about half of countries abortion is accepted in the case of rape or incest (51 percent), and in case of fetal impairment (50 percent). Performing an abortion because of economic or social reasons is accepted in 35 percent of countries. Performing abortion only on the basis of a woman's request is allowed in 30 percent of countries, including in the US, Canada, most European countries, and China, with 42 percent of the world's population living in such countries.

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).[22][23] The majority, 90% of abortions in Finland are performed for socio-economical reasons.[24] How strictly all of the procedures dictated in the legislature are followed in practice is another matter. For example, in the United Kingdom 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.[25]

The effect of national laws as of 2013 for each of the 193 member states of the United Nations and two non-member States (Vatican City and Niue) is listed in the UN World Abortion Policies 2013[21] report, and summarized in the following table. The publication includes information on national estimates of abortion rate, fertility rate, maternal mortality ratio, levels of contraceptive use, unmet need for family planning, and government support for family planning, as well as regional estimates of unsafe abortion.

Legal grounds on which abortion is permitted (2013)[21][a]
Category
code
Woman's
life[b]
Phys.
health[c]
Mental
health[d]
Rape,
incest
Fetal
impairment
Econom.,
social
On
request
Region Countries or areas
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick East Africa Mozambique[26]
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN East Africa Eritrea, Ethiopia, Seychelles
76 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN East Africa Zambia
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN East Africa Burundi, Comoros, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda
6C Green tick Green tick Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN East Africa Zimbabwe
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN East Africa Djibouti, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Somalia, South Sudan[e]
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Central Africa Angola,[28] Chad[f]
78 Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Central Africa Cameroon
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Central Africa Equatorial Guinea
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Central Africa Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick North Africa Tunisia
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN North Africa Morocco[30]
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN North Africa Algeria
4C Green tick Red XN Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN North Africa Sudan
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN North Africa Egypt, Libya
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Southern Africa South Africa
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Southern Africa Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Southern Africa Lesotho
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick West Africa Cape Verde
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN West Africa Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN West Africa Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone
48 Green tick Red XN Red XN Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN West Africa Mali
6C Green tick Green tick Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN West Africa Togo
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN West Africa Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick East Asia China, North Korea, Mongolia
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN East Asia South Korea, Taiwan[31]
6A Green tick Green tick Red XN Green tick Red XN Green tick Red XN East Asia Japan
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick South Asia Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
7E Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN South Asia India
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN South Asia Pakistan
60 Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN South Asia Maldives
58 Green tick Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN South Asia Bhutan
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN South Asia Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Sri Lanka
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Southeast Asia Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Southeast Asia Thailand
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Southeast Asia Malaysia
4C Green tick Red XN Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Southeast Asia Indonesia[32][33]
60 Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Southeast Asia Laos
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Southeast Asia Brunei Darussalam, East Timor, Myanmar, Philippines
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Western Asia Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus,[34] Georgia, Turkey
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Western Asia Israel
74 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Green tick Red XN Red XN Western Asia Jordan, Kuwait
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Western Asia Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
44 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Green tick Red XN Red XN Western Asia Oman, Palestine[35]
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Western Asia Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen[36]
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Eastern Europe Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Ukraine
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Eastern Europe Poland
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Northern Europe Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Republic of Ireland[37]
7E Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Northern Europe Finland
76 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Northern Europe United Kingdom
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Southern Europe Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Kosovo,[38] Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Republic of Macedonia
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Southern Europe Andorra, San Marino
00 Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Southern Europe Holy See, Malta (However, in Malta abortions are de facto allowed to save the mother's life.)[39]
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Western Europe Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Western Europe Liechtenstein
4C Green tick Red XN Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Western Europe Monaco
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Caribbean Cuba
7E Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Caribbean Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Caribbean Bahamas
78 Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Caribbean Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Caribbean Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Caribbean Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Haiti
00 Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Caribbean Dominican Republic
76 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Central America Belize
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Central America Costa Rica
4C Green tick Red XN Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Central America Panama
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Central America Guatemala, Honduras
00 Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Central America El Salvador, Nicaragua
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick South America Guyana, Uruguay
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN South America Colombia
78 Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN South America Bolivia
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN South America Ecuador, Peru
68 Green tick Green tick Red XN Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN South America Argentina[40]
4C Green tick Red XN Red XN Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN South America Chile (2017)[g]
48 Green tick Red XN Red XN Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN South America Brazil
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN South America Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela
7F Green tick Green tick {{|aye}} Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick North America Canada, Mexico[h], United States[i].
7F Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Australasia Australia (Varies state by state. See Abortion in Australia.)
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Australasia New Zealand
7C Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Melanesia Fiji
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Melanesia Vanuatu
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Melanesia Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands[46]
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Micronesia Nauru
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Palau
78 Green tick Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Polynesia Cook Islands
70 Green tick Green tick Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Polynesia Niue, Samoa
40 Green tick Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Red XN Polynesia Tonga, Tuvalu
  1. ^ The source cited in support of this table[21] contains additional information and/or clarifications regarding some listed countries.
  2. ^ To save a woman's life
  3. ^ To preserve a woman's physical health
  4. ^ To preserve a woman's mental health
  5. ^ The 2013 source cited in support of this table asserts, based on 2006 law, that abortion is not allowed in South Sudan to save the life of the mother,[21] However, the South Sudan Penal Code Act of 2008 added phraseology to articles 216 and 220 which allowed abortion in that case.[27]
  6. ^ In December 2016, the National Assembly of Chad passed an updated penal code decriminalising abortion under limited circumstances. Article 358 states that abortion is allowed in case of sexual assault, rape, incest or when the pregnancy endangers the mental or physical health or the life of the mother or the fetus. On 8 May 2017, the new penal code was enacted by the President Idriss Deby. It became law on 1 August 2017.[29]
  7. ^ On July 19, 2017,[41] the Senate of Chile approved legislation permitting abortion under limited circumstances (if the pregnancy endangers the life of the woman, if the fetus is not viable, if the pregnancy resulted from rape) with 22 votes in favor and 13 against.[42] On August 3, the Chamber of Deputies of Chile approved the legislation with 70 votes in favor, 45 votes against and 1 abstention.[42] On August 21, 2017,[43] Chile's Constitutional Court accepted the constitutionality of the measure with a 6-4 vote.[44] Law 21.030 was promulgated by President Michelle Bachelet on September 14, to enter in effect in December 2017.[45]
  8. ^ Varies by state. See Abortion in Mexico.
  9. ^ Varies by state. See Abortion in the United States by state

Europe

Conscientious objection to abortion in Europe
Conscientious objection to abortion by doctors in Europe[47]
  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 Malta, Northern Ireland, and the micro-states of Vatican City, San Marino, Liechtenstein and Andorra, where abortion is illegal or severely restricted.[48][49] The other states with existent, but less severe restrictions are Poland and 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.[50] Restrictions on abortion are most stringent in a few countries that are strongly observant of the Catholic faith.[48]

European Union

Most countries in the European Union allow abortion on demand during the first trimester, with Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands having more extended time limits.[4] After the first trimester, abortion is generally allowed only under certain circumstances, such as risk to woman's life or health, fetal defects or other specific situations that may be related to the circumstances of the conception or the woman's age. For instance, in Austria, second trimester abortions are allowed only if there is a serious risk to physical health of woman (that cannot be averted by other means); risk to mental health of woman (that cannot be averted by other means); immediate risk to life of woman (that cannot be averted by other means); serious fetal impairment (physical or mental); or if the woman is under 14 years of age. Some countries, such as Denmark, allow abortion after the first trimester for a variety of reasons, including socioeconomic ones, but a woman needs an authorization to have such an abortion.[51] Similarly, in Finland, technically abortions even just up to 12 weeks require authorization from two doctors (unless special circumstances), but in practice the authorization is only a rubber stamp and it is granted if the mother simply does not wish to have a baby.[52]

Access to an abortion in much of Europe depends not as much on the letter of the law, but on the prevailing social views which lead to the interpretation of the laws. In much of Europe, laws which allow a second trimester abortion due to mental health concerns (when it is deemed that the woman's psychological health would suffer from the continuation of the pregnancy) have come to be interpreted very liberally, while in some areas it is difficult to have a legal abortion even in the early stages of pregnancy due to conscientious objection by doctors refusing to perform abortions against their personal moral or religious convictions.[53]

Malta is the only EU country that bans abortion in all cases, and does not have an exception for situations where the woman's life is in danger. The law however is not strictly enforced in relation to instances where a pregnancy endangers the woman's life.[54]

Abortion in Italy was legalized in 1978.[55] However, the law allows health professionals to refuse to perform abortion. This conscientious objection has the practical effect of restricting access to abortion.[56]

In Ireland, before December 2018, abortion was illegal with the exception of cases where a woman's life was endangered by the continuation of her pregnancy. However, in a 2018 referendum a large majority of Irish citizens voted to repeal the constitutional amendment prohibiting legislation relating to the termination of non-life-threatening pregnancies; and the new law enacted (the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018) allows abortion on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in certain circumstances at later stages. Northern Ireland, which is under UK control, retains its near complete ban on abortion, however the Irish government has stated that Northern Ireland residents may access abortion services in the Republic free of charge.[57]

Europe's formerly Communist countries have liberal abortion laws. An exception is Poland, a country with a strict abortion law. Abortion is allowed only in cases of risk to the life or health of the woman, when the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act (the criminal act has to be confirmed by a prosecutor), or when the fetus is seriously malformed. A doctor who performs an abortion which is deemed to not have a legal basis is subject to criminal prosecution, and, out of fear of prosecution, doctors avoid abortions, except in the most extreme circumstances.

Most European countries have laws which stipulate that minor girls need their parents' consent or that the parents must be informed of the abortion. In most of these countries however, this rule can be circumvented if a committee agrees that the girl may be posed at risk if her parents find out about the pregnancy, or that otherwise it is in her best interests to not notify her parents. The interpretation in practice of these laws depends from region to region, as with the other abortion laws.[53] Some countries differentiate between younger pregnant minors and older ones, with the latter not subjected to parental restrictions (for example under or above 16).[58]

In countries where abortion is illegal or restricted, it is common for women to travel to neighboring countries with more liberal laws. It was estimated in 2007 that over 6,000 Irish women travel to Britain to have abortions every year.[53]

United States

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."[59] 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. [60]

Countries with more restrictive laws

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 of countries includes most countries in Latin America, most countries of MENA, approximately half of the countries of Africa, seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as one country (Malta) and the Northern Ireland region of the UK in Europe.[61]

Latin America is the region with the most restrictive abortion laws. Fewer than 3% 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.[62] Some of the countries of Central America, notably El Salvador, have also come to international attention due to very forceful enforcement of the laws.[63][64]

Beginning of pregnancy controversy

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.[70] 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.[72]

Exceptions in abortion law

Exceptions in abortion laws occur either in countries where abortion is, as a general rule illegal, or in countries which 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).[73]

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 life of the mother, whereas abortion opponents in the United States argue health exceptions are used so broadly as to render a ban essentially meaningless.[74]

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.[75]

Many 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

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". This area is intended to limit how close to these facilities demonstration by those who oppose abortion can approach. Protests and other displays are restricted to a certain distance from the building, which varies depending upon the law, or are prohibited altogether. 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.[76] 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[77]).

Case law

Australia

Canada

Germany

Ireland

South Africa

United Kingdom

United States

European Court of Human Rights

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b "Abortion Rates Similar In Countries That Legalize, Prohibit Procedure, Study Says - News - I.C.M.A." Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  2. ^ Singh, Susheela et al. Adding it Up: The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Family Planning and Newborn Health, pages 17, 19, and 27 (New York: Guttmacher Institute and United Nations Population Fund 2009): "Some 215 million women in the developing world as a whole have an unmet need for modern contraceptives…. If the 215 million women with unmet need used modern family planning methods....[that] would result in about 22 million fewer unplanned births; 25 million fewer abortions; and seven million fewer miscarriages....If women’s contraceptive needs were addressed (and assuming no changes in abortion laws)...the number of unsafe abortions would decline by 73% from 20 million to 5.5 million." A few of the findings in that report were subsequently changed, and are available at: "Facts on Investing in Family Planning and Maternal and Newborn Health Archived March 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine" (Guttmacher Institute 2010).
  3. ^ Population Division, United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2001). Abortion Policies: A Global Review. United Nations Publications. pp. 46, 126. ISBN 978-92-1-151361-5.
  4. ^ a b "Malta now only EU country without life-saving abortion law". The Malta Independent. July 14, 2013.
  5. ^ "Women's & LGBT Liberation In Revolutionary Russia". Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  6. ^ "The Communist Women's Movement". isreview.org. Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  7. ^ Smith, Sharon (September 15, 2015). Women and Socialism: Essays on Women's Liberation. Haymarket Books. pp. 12, 199. ISBN 9781608461806.
  8. ^ "Abstract - Abortion in Russia". South African Medical Journal. 1935.
  9. ^ "Women's liberation and socialism". Retrieved 2017-01-13.
  10. ^ Overy, Richard (2004). Women, the State and Revolution: Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917-1936. Cambridge University Press.
  11. ^ Overy, Richard (2004). The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia. W. W. Norton Company, Inc.
  12. ^ Heer, David, "Abortion, Contraception, and Population Policy in the Soviet Union" Demography 2 (1965): 531-39.
  13. ^ Alexandre Avdeev, Alain Blum, and Irina Troitskaya. "The History of Abortion Statistics in Russia and the USSR from 1900 to 1991." Population (English Edition) 7, (1995), 42.
  14. ^ M., Akrivopoulou, Christina (2015). Protecting the Genetic Self from Biometric Threats: Autonomy, Identity, and Genetic Privacy: Autonomy, Identity, and Genetic Privacy. IGI Global. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-4666-8154-5.
  15. ^ a b c "Федеральный закон "Об основах охраны здоровья граждан в Российской Федерации"". Российская газета.
  16. ^ Ferris-Rotman, Amie. "Putin's Next Target Is Russia's Abortion Culture".
  17. ^ Campo, Juan Eduardo (2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. Infobase Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-4381-2696-8.
  18. ^ "En Uruguay, le Parlement vote la dépénalisation de l'avortement". 17 October 2012 – via Le Monde.
  19. ^ World Abortion Policies 2013 (Note 26) (archived from the original on 2016-04-15)
  20. ^ a b "United Nations Committee Affirms Abortion as a Human Right". The Huffington Post. 25 January 2016.
  21. ^ a b c d e World Abortion Policies 2013 (archived from the original on 2016-04-15)
  22. ^ "Abortion Act 1967". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Laki raskauden keskeyttämisestä 24.3.1970/239". Finlex. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  24. ^ Tiitinen, Aila. "Raskauden keskeytys". Terveyskirjasto. Duodecim. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Findings of termination of pregnancy inspections published". Care Quality Commission. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  26. ^ Moftah, Lora (19 December 2014). "Mozambique Legalizes Abortion: President Signs Law Seeking To Curb High Maternal Mortality Rate". International Business Times. Retrieved 19 December 2016. The new law signed by Guebuza Thursday will ease abortion regulations in the country, allowing women to electively terminate their pregnancies during the first 12 weeks, except in the case of rape, which would extend the legal period to 16 weeks.Durr, Benjamin (26 January 2015). "Mozambique loosens anti-abortion laws". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  27. ^ "ACTS SUPPLEMENT No. 1" (PDF). The Southern Sudan Gazette No. 1. Ministry Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development, Government of South Sudan. February 10, 2009.
  28. ^ "Angola 24 Horas - Novo Código Penal angolano despenaliza homossexualidade e permite aborto em certos casos". angola24horas.com.
  29. ^ "Tchad Code Pénal 2017 - Loi n°001/PR/2017" (PDF). 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  30. ^ Miller, Bryn (June 10, 2016). "Morocco Liberalizes Abortion Laws, Amends Penal Code". Morocco World News. Retrieved November 3, 2016. Yesterday’s reform amended the law to allow abortion in cases of incest, rape, and birth defects.
  31. ^ "Termination of Pregnancy and Abortion in Taiwan - Taiwan - Angloinfo". Archived from the original on 2016-11-10. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  32. ^ "Safe abortion in Indonesia: a matter of law". Simavi. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2016. Abortion is legal when there is fetal impairment or when the mother is a victim of rape.
  33. ^ Putri Sundawa, Shela (August 24, 2014). "Why Indonesia should legalize abortion". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved November 6, 2016. Abortion in Indonesia remains prohibited in most cases, unless the mother's life is in danger or in the case of rape.
  34. ^ "Parliament decriminalises abortion (Updated) - Cyprus Mail". Cyprus Mail. 2018-03-30. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  35. ^ Taha, Sabreen (8 March 2016). "For Palestinian women, abortion can mean lies, jail or worse". Reuters. Retrieved 19 December 2016. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, doctors are permitted to perform abortions only when pregnancy endangers the mother's life, but not if it is a peril to her mental health. When fetal impairment is detected, an abortion can be performed if both parents consent, but terminating a pregnancy that resulted from rape or incest is banned, the ministry said.
  36. ^ "Yemen". United Nations. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  37. ^ "Irish president signs bill legalising abortion". BBC News. December 20, 2018.
  38. ^ Gjocaj, Shqipe (14 April 2016). "Women: Kosovo's powerless reproductive force". pi.com. Prishtina Insight. Despite abortion being legal up to the tenth week of pregnancy, girls and women do not have access to sexual education
  39. ^ "Malta now only EU country without life-saving abortion law - The Malta Independent". www.independent.com.mt.
  40. ^ "Penal Code of the Argentine Nation – Article 86". InfoLEG.
  41. ^ Reuters (19 July 2017). "Chile passes bill to legalize abortion in certain cases" – via The Guardian.
  42. ^ a b CNN, Spencer Feingold. "Chilean lawmakers vote to ease abortion ban". CNN.
  43. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "Chile court ruling ends abortion ban; new law allows in limited cases".
  44. ^ News, ABC. "Chile court rules in favor of abortion in some cases". Archived from the original on 2017-08-21. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
  45. ^ Vargas, Felipe (14 September 2017). "Bachelet promulga ley de aborto en tres causales en uno de los actos más masivos en La Moneda". EMOL.
  46. ^ Abortion Policies: Oman to Zimbabwe. United Nations Publications. 2001. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  47. ^ Network, European Data Journalism. "Even where abortion is legal, access is not granted".
  48. ^ a b Ostergren, Robert C.; Le Bossé, Mathias (7 March 2011). The Europeans: A Geography of People, Culture, and Environment. Guilford Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-59385-384-6. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  49. ^ Kelly, Jon (2016-04-08). "Why are Northern Ireland's abortion laws different to the rest of the UK?". BBC News.
  50. ^ Jenkins, Philip (11 May 2007). God's continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's religious crisis. Oxford University Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-19-531395-6. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  51. ^ "1973 Danish abortion law Lovitidende for Kongeriget Danmark". Harvard Law. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  52. ^ Rämö, Aurora (28 May 2018). "Suomessa abortin saa helposti, vaikka laki on yksi Euroopan tiukimmista". Suomen Kuvalehti. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  53. ^ a b c "Abortion legislation in Europe" (PDF). International Planned Parenthood Federation. January 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 13, 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  54. ^ "Malta now only EU country without life-saving abortion law". Malta Independent. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  55. ^ "Law 194" (PDF). Columbia. Italian legislation. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
  56. ^ Tamma, Paola (24 May 2018). "Even where abortion is legal, access is not granted". VoxEurop/EDJNet. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  57. ^ "Women from Northern Ireland will be allowed access abortion in Republic - Harris". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  58. ^ Worrell, Marc. "Serbia: abortion law". Women on Waves.
  59. ^ Casey, 505 U.S. at 877.
  60. ^ Alesha Doan (2007). Opposition and Intimidation: The Abortion Wars and Strategies of Political Harassment. University of Michigan Press. p. 57. ISBN 9780472069750.
  61. ^ Worrell, Marc. "Abortion Laws Worldwide". Women on Waves.
  62. ^ "Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean". 10 May 2016.
  63. ^ "El Salvador: Rape survivor sentenced to 30 years in jail under extreme anti-abortion law". www.amnesty.org.
  64. ^ "Jailed for a miscarriage". BBC News.
  65. ^ "How Doctors Date Pregnancies, Explained - Rewire".
  66. ^ Choices, NHS. "Abortion - NHS Choices". www.nhs.uk.
  67. ^ "Pregnancy—first day of the last menstrual period". meteor.aihw.gov.au.
  68. ^ "Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD) Pregnancy Calculator". reference.medscape.com.
  69. ^ "gestational age".
  70. ^ Some examples of gestational age calculated from the first day of the last menstrual cycle:[65][66][67][68]}[69]
  71. ^ "Loi du 17 décembre 2014 portant modification 1) du Code pénal et 2) de la loi du 15 novembre 1978 relative à l'information sexuelle, à la prévention de l'avortement clandestin et à la réglementation de l'interruption volontaire de grossesse. - Legilux". legilux.public.lu.
  72. ^ 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".[71]
  73. ^ helsedepartementet, Sosial- og (18 May 2000). "About the Abortion Act". Government.no.
  74. ^ "'Health' of the Mother". Newsweek. October 15, 2008
  75. ^ "States probe limits of abortion policy". Stateline. June 22, 2006.
  76. ^ Center for Reproductive Rights. (n.d.). Picketing and Harassment. Retrieved December 14, 2006. Archived November 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  77. ^ "Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1996 [No. 92 of 1996] - G 17602". www.saflii.org.

References

External links

Abortion-rights movements

Abortion-rights movements, also referred to as pro-choice movements, advocate for legal access to induced abortion services. The issue of induced abortion remains divisive in public life, with recurring arguments to liberalize or to restrict access to legal abortion services. Abortion-rights supporters themselves are frequently divided as to the types of abortion services that should be available and to the circumstances, for example different periods in the pregnancy such as late term abortions, in which access may be restricted.

Abortion in Australia

Abortion in Australia is largely regulated by the states and territories rather than the Federal Government. The grounds on which abortion is permitted in Australia vary by jurisdiction. In every state, abortion is legal to protect the life and health of a woman, though each state has a different definition.

Nowhere in Australia is there a requirement that a woman's sexual partner be notified of a proposed abortion or to consent to the procedure. Australian courts will not grant an injunction to restrain a pregnant woman from terminating her pregnancy, even if the applicant is the putative father of the fetus. There is also no waiting period for an abortion. A minor does not need to notify a parent of a proposed abortion nor is parental consent required, except in Western Australia. In Western Australia, a proposed abortion by a minor under 16 years of age must be notified to one of the parents, except where permission has been granted by the Children's Court or the minor does not live with her parents.

Early-term surgical abortions are generally available around Australia for those women who seek them. The procedure is partially funded under Medicare, the government-funded public health scheme, or by private healthcare insurers. Prosecutions against medical practitioners for performing abortions have not occurred for decades, with one exception—a prosecution in 1998 in Western Australia that soon after led to the explicit legalisation of on-request abortions under certain circumstances in that state. RU-486, an abortifacient widely used overseas, has been available in Australia only since February 2006.

In the case of 'a child capable of being born alive' (usually taken to mean after 28 weeks of pregnancy), a termination may be subject to a separate crime of child destruction in some States and Territories.

Abortion in Azerbaijan

Abortion in Azerbaijan is legal on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in specific circumstances between 12 and 28 weeks. The current abortion law of Azerbaijan is based on the abortion law of the Soviet Union of 1955 when Azerbaijan was a Republic of the Soviet Union (as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic), and no changes were made after Azerbaijan became independent in 1991. Between 1965 and 1987 the abortion rate used to be very high (between 20 and 28%). Since independence, the abortion rate has almost halved and relatively stabilized after 2000 (between 12 and 14%). In the 2014, 13.8% of pregnancies in Azerbaijan ended in abortion, a slight rise from the all-time low recorded in 2005 (12.1%).

Abortion in Bhutan

Abortion in Bhutan is only legal when the abortion is a result of rape, incest, to preserve the woman's mental health, or to save her life. Despite this however, the United Nations report on abortion notes that the exact status of the country's abortion law is under. "Because the state religion of Bhutan is Buddhism, which disapproves of abortion, it is probable that the procedure is allowed only to save the life of the pregnant woman."

Abortion in Cambodia

Abortion in Cambodia is legal upon request within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.After twelve weeks, abortions are only legal in Cambodia when they will save the woman's life or preserve her health, the pregnancy is a result of rape, or the child may be born with an incurable disease. In any of these instances, at least two medical personnel must approve the abortion.

Abortion in East Timor

Abortion in East Timor is only legal if the abortion will save the woman's life, an exception made by Parliament in 2009. Women's groups and NGOs have been advocating for abortion laws to include instances of rape, incest, and child endangerment.In East Timor, any abortion approved to preserve the woman's health requires consent from three physicians. All other abortions are criminal offenses, and the person who performs the abortion as well as the pregnant woman face up to three years of imprisonment.

Abortion in Ecuador

Abortion in Ecuador is illegal except when performed in the case of a threat to the life or health of a pregnant woman (when this threat cannot be averted by other means) or when the pregnancy is the result of a sexual crime against a mentally disabled woman and her legal representative has consented. The Ministry of Public Health provides guidelines on therapeutic abortion.

In Ecuador, there is strong political opposition to abortion; in 2013 then president Rafael Correa threatened to resign if the abortion law was liberalized. As of 2015, nearly 100 criminal cases of illegal abortion were under investigation.In 2015, Ecuador was urged by CEDAW to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape and incest (under current law abortion in this case is legal only if the woman is mentally disabled) and severe fetal impairment (which is also illegal).

Abortion in El Salvador

Abortion in El Salvador is illegal. The law formerly permitted an abortion to be performed under some limited circumstances, but, in 1998, all exceptions were removed when a new abortion law went into effect.

Abortion in Hungary

Abortion in Hungary was subject to legal liberalization as early as 1953. The abortion law was changed three times since then, in 1956, 1973, and 1992. As a result of that Hungary has a liberal abortion law. While women must get the approval of a committee before having an abortion, a number of various hypothetical situations have been placed into the law allowing an abortion, so the request has become a mere formality.Hungary is influenced by Roman Catholicism, and, although abortion is legal, it is not easy to access: women must go through a specific procedure involving counseling, a waiting period, and a certificate from a midwife in order to obtain an abortion.

Abortion in Monaco

Abortion in Monaco is only allowed in cases of rape, fetal deformity, illness, or fatal danger to the mother. The most recent abortion legislation was enacted on 8 April 2009; before then Monaco had one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, only allowing the procedure if there was a risk of fatality for the mother.The previous abortion law, from 1967, outlawed abortion under any circumstance, but other previous criminal law cases agreed abortion was acceptable if it saved the life of the mother. Under the old law, women undergoing an illegal abortion were subject to a prison term up to three years, with the abortion provider subject to a prison term up to five years. If the abortion provider was in the medical profession, their right to practice medicine would be taken away.While abortion is partially legal in Monaco, Monaco itself is surrounded on three sides by France, where abortion is completely legal and available on demand.

Abortion in New Zealand

Abortion in New Zealand is legal in cases where the pregnant woman faces a danger to her life, physical or mental health, or if there is a risk of the fetus being handicapped in the event of the continuation of her pregnancy. In cases not protected by these grounds, performing an abortion on a woman or girl is a crime in New Zealand under the Crimes Act 1961 (the woman or girl is not party to the offence). Regulations in New Zealand require that abortions after 12 weeks gestation be performed in a "licensed institution", which is generally understood to be a hospital. Abortions must be authorised by two doctors (referred to as "certifying consultants" within the legislation), one of whom must be a gynaecologist or obstetrician. However, doctors can refuse to authorise the procedure, in which case the woman must find another doctor and plead her case with them until she has the permission of two doctors, and also a qualified surgeon if neither of those doctors are licensed to perform the operation. Counselling is optional if the woman desires it, but is not mandatory under current abortion law. There is no statutory definition of fetuses or embryos as "unborn children" within New Zealand abortion law.

Abortion in Nicaragua

Abortion in Nicaragua is completely illegal. Prior to a change in the law, which took effect on 18 November 2006, the law allowed pregnancies to be terminated for "therapeutic" reasons, but this clause is no longer in effect.

Abortion in San Marino

Abortion in San Marino is generally illegal. Articles 153 and 154 of the Penal Code impose prison sentences for any woman who procures an abortion, any person who helps her and any person who performs the abortion. Abortions performed to save the life of the mother are generally permitted by legal principles of necessity, but the law makes no specific exceptions.A proposal to liberalize abortion law was submitted during 1974 revisions to the Penal Code, but the Government deferred it indefinitely to permit further debate. No action has been taken since. Nonetheless, a United Nations Population Division report notes that a woman in San Marino seeking an abortion can likely obtain one in Italy.

Abortion in Slovenia

Abortion in Slovenia was legalized in its current form (in Slovenia and the other former Yugoslav republics) on October 7, 1977.Abortion is available on-demand for women whose pregnancies have not exceeded the tenth week. Minors require parental consent before undergoing an abortion unless the minor is already emancipated and earning her own living. After Slovenia earned its independence from Yugoslavia, an amendment was made to the abortion law in 1992 allowing doctors to exempt themselves from performing abortions if they disagree with the practice for religious reasons.In 2009, 18% of pregnancies in Slovenia ended in abortion, down from a peak of 41.6% in 1982. As of 2009, the abortion rate was 11.5 abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44 years.Mifepristone (medical abortion) was registered in 2013.

Abortion in Spain

Abortion in Spain is legal with some restrictions. Abortion during the first trimester is legal upon request. However, abortion during the second trimester is legal only for serious risk to the health of the woman or fetal defects.

Abortion legislation in Spain has a varied history. During the 1930s, abortion law was liberalized in the area controlled by the Republicans, but this was short-lived, as the Franco regime with support of the Catholic Church, outlawed abortion again. The laws were relaxed in 1985, and were further liberalized in 2010. Abortion remains a controversial political issue in Spain, and regular attempts to restrict it occur but they have failed to get enough traction.In recent years, abortion rates have been falling, as better access to emergency contraception has been introduced.

Abortion in the United States by state

Abortion in the United States is legal via the landmark 1973 case of Roe v. Wade. Specifically, abortion is legal in all U.S. states, and every state has at least one abortion clinic. However, individual states can regulate/limit the use of abortion or create "trigger laws", which would make abortion illegal within the first and second trimesters if Roe were overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States Also, nine states—Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wisconsin as well as the already mentioned Arkansas and Mississippi, still have their unenforced pre-Roe abortion bans on the lawbooks, which could start being enforced if Roe were overturned. In accordance with the US Supreme Court case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), 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."

Conscientious objection to abortion

Conscientious objection to abortion is the right of medical staff to refuse participation in abortion for personal belief.

Because of conscientious objection in some countries, even if abortion is legal, it is difficult for women to find non-objecting gynaecologists and thus to access abortion.

History of abortion

The practice of abortion—the termination of a pregnancy—has been known since ancient times. Various methods have been used to perform or attempt an abortion, including the administration of abortifacient herbs, the use of sharpened implements, the application of abdominal pressure, and other techniques.

Abortion laws and their enforcement have fluctuated through various eras. In many western countries during the 20th century abortion-rights movements were successful in having abortion bans repealed. While abortion remains legal in most of the West, this legality is regularly challenged by anti-abortion groups.

Minors and abortion

Many jurisdictions have laws applying to minors and abortion. These parental involvement laws require that one or more parents consent or be informed before their minor daughter may legally have an abortion.

Main topics
Movements
Issues
By country
Law
Methods
Religion
Age of
Drugs
Death
Guns
Punishment
Obscenity
Reproduction
Censorship
Human rights
Freedom of movement
Property and
Environmental
Business
Internationalownership
Other
Main topics
Milestones
Slogans
Events
People
Places
Related

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.