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Interactive World Map of Abortion Laws

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The Center for Reproductive Rights has compiled all abortion rights in an interactive map of the world’s abortion laws. According to the map,

The legal status of abortion is an important indicator of women’s ability to enjoy their reproductive rights. Legal restrictions on abortion often cause high levels of illegal and unsafe abortion, and there is a proven link between unsafe abortion and maternal mortality.

Between 1950 and 1985, nearly all industrialized countries-and several others-liberalized their abortion laws.  In 1994, 179 governments signed the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, signalling their commitment to prevent unsafe abortion. Since this important milestone, more than 25 countries worldwide have liberalized their abortion laws-while only a handful have tightened legal restrictions on abortion.

Most countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and southern Asia have severe abortion laws. Furthermore, three of the four countries generally considered to prohibit abortion altogether-Chile, El Salvador, and Nicaragua-are located in Latin America.

One Comment »

  • Saira says:

    Great resource from CRR!!! Thanks so much for the cross-post. And, just passing on a really fascinating observation from a friend who is a US-based human rights activist with roots in Iran:

    “One note, though; I realized that some of the information that the map illustrates is not entirely accurate, or needs qualification.
    For instance, in the case of Iran, although the map rightfully states that abortion is only allowed on medical grounds and to protect the mother, it fails to mention that the law allows the termination of pregnancy during the first four months after the fetus is formed. In other words, the termination of pregnancy during the first 16 weeks is not considered abortion. This is in accordance with the Shi’ite doctrine (figh – فقه), which does not consider the fetus during the first 4 months of pregnancy to be a living human being who possesses a soul (ruh – روح).


    You can see more about this fascinating debate online (unfortunately all materials are in Persian):