How Do Our Abortion Laws Compare?

This week’s legislative ruling that could shutter all of Texas’ remaining seven abortion clinics has reignited the ongoing conversation surrounding women’s reproductive rights on both a national and international level. Over at The Guardian, Liz Ford and Achilleas Galatsidas have compiled statistics of abortion rights throughout the world in an interactive map, answering some questions and raising a good many more. Each map, organized by continent and subcategorized by country, breaks down the permitted procedures and under what circumstances they are available, be it to saving a woman’s life, maintaining her health, following rape or incest, for economic or social reasons, or of personal accord.

Some interesting information arose when clicking through the maps. For instance, the graphs account for the total number of states that prohibit abortions under any circumstances, including but not limited to the aforementioned ones. Abortion is permitted under conditions required to save a woman’s life throughout all African countries, excluding South Sudan (for which abortion laws were not reported). The same applies for Asia, and most of Europe and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands). However Malta (Europe), Chile and the Dominican Republic (Latin America and the Caribbean), and Nicaragua and El Salvador (Central America) all share complete bans on abortion.

The Guardian reports that in the US, most states permit abortions before 24 weeks of pregnancy, while in nine states including Washington D.C. there is no limit (which may be a short-lived luxury if Texas starts meddling as usual). Canada reportedly has no federal regulations, but on a provincial level sometimes requires more than one doctor to give consent. Most of Mexico forbids abortion, with an exception being Mexico City, which allows the procedure up to the first trimester.

Take a look at North and Central America below, and head to The Guardian to compare how we measure up in comparison to international maps of abortion rights and regulations.