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A Quick Glance At Abortion Laws Around The World

According to the Centre for Reproductive Rights, 60% per cent of women of reproductive age live in countries that broadly allow abortion, while 40% per cent live under restrictive laws.

Countries allowing abortion are either with laws permitting abortion on request or on social or economic grounds, whereas restrictive laws prohibit abortion altogether or authorize it only under limited circumstances.

Pregnant Woman Making Heart Shape With Her Hands over womb


The World Abortion Laws Map Categorizes the legal status of abortion in countries across the globe. These laws are broken into five categories:

CATEGORY A: Prohibited Altogether

The laws of the countries in this category do not permit abortion under any circumstances, including when the woman's life or health is at risk.

CATEGORY B: To save a women's life

The laws of the countries in this category permit abortion when the woman's life is at risk.

CATEGORY C: To preserve the health

The laws of countries in this category permit abortion on the basis of health or therapeutic grounds.

CATEGORY D: Broad Social or Economic Ground

The laws are generally interpreted liberally to permit abortion under a broad range of circumstances. These countries often consider a woman's actual or reasonably foreseeable environment and her social or economic circumstances.

CATEGORY E: On Request

The laws of countries in this category allow abortion on request, with varying gestational limits. The most common gestational limit is 12 weeks, but abortion is often allowed on additional grounds.


The US supreme court overturned the landmark 1973 "Roe vs Wade" decision that enshrined a woman's right to a termination of pregnancy for almost half a century.

It said individual states can permit or restrict the procedure themselves. Abortion is now illegal or heavily restricted in at least 9 states. More US states are expected to follow suit.

India's Abortion Policy

India's Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971 allows abortion until 20 weeks of pregnancy until the 2021 Amendment raised the ceiling to 24 weeks for special categories of pregnant women such as survivors of rape, and victims of incest & other vulnerable women.

Approval of one registered doctor is required for up to 20 weeks of gestation & of two registered doctors for termination of Pregnancy of 20-24 weeks of gestation.


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