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The Legal Status Of Abortion Worldwide

According to a leaked draft opinion reported on by Politico, the U.S. supreme court has provisionally voted to overturn Roe v Wade – the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide in the United States. Reproductive rights have been put under a lot of pressure in some parts of the country recently, and an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute predicts that around half of U.S. states will take advantage of Roe v Wade being overturned by banning abortions completely.

Progress is being made elsewhere in the world, however. In February this year, Colombia decriminalized abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. This was the latest step forward for reproductive rights in Latin America after a Supreme Court decision to decriminalize in Mexico in September 2021 – note that this has not yet gone into effect. In January 2021, Argentina had become the largest Latin American country to legalize abortion.

Asia has also seen moves in favor of reproductive rights. Effective from the start of 2021, South Korea decriminalized abortion until the 14th week of pregnancy. In Thailand, parliament voted in January 2021 to make abortion legal within the 12 weeks, although penalties are still in place for those who terminate later in their pregnancies.

This world map uses data from The Center for Reproductive Rights to show the state of global abortion laws at the start of 2021.

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Source: Statista

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