The World's Abortion Law
Currently, 61 per cent of the world's people in countries where induced abortion is permitted either for a wide range of reasons or without restriction as to reason. In contrast, 26 per cent of all people reside in countries where abortion is generally prohibited.
Permitted to Save the Woman's Life or prohibited altogether
The most restrictive laws are those that either permit abortion only to save a woman's life or ban the procedure entirely. Many countries in this category explicitly permit abortion when a pregnancy threatens a woman's life. In other countries, laws that make no explicit exception are generally interpreted to permit abortion under life-threatening circumstances on the grounds of "necessity." Such an exception may also be recognised in national norms of medical ethics.
Countries which severely restrict abortion services. Those in bold allow abortion but in very limited circumstances.
Antigua & Barbuda#
Central African Rep.
Dem. Rep, of Congo
El Salvador- (x)
Mexico- **** R/F#
Papua New Guinea#
Sao Tome & Principe
United Arab Emirates-SA/PA#
West Bank & Gaza Strip#
69 Countries, 26% of World's Population
Note: Those in bold allow abortion but in very limited circumstances indicated with #.
Physical Health Grounds
Laws that authorise abortion to protect the pregnant woman's life and physical health form Category II. These laws sometimes require that the threatened injury to health be either serious or permanent. While laws in this category do not explicitly permit abortion to protect mental health, many are phrased broadly enough--referring simply to "health" or "therapeutic" indications--to be interpreted to allow abortion on mental health grounds.
Countries which explicitly allow abortion for health reasons
Eritrea - R/I
Rep. of Korea-SA/R/I/F
34 Countries, 9.4% of World's Population
Laws in Category III expressly permit abortion to protect the woman's mental health, as well as her life and physical health. …