Interactive World Map of Abortion Laws
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.