What I learned trying to classify abortion access across the rich world

Updated Jul 2022

With abortion in flux in the US, I realized I didn’t have a clear picture of how things looked in the rest of the rich world. When I searched, I found lots of maps, like the following from Politico and Wikipedia:

politico abortion map wikipedia abortion map

These are helpful, but they’re very high level. If you read about individual countries, you’ll find that things are more complicated than these—or any—maps can convey.

I wanted to know: When is abortion available for what reasons? So I researched the policies in 27 countries, came up with a classification scheme, classified each week in each country, and then tried to visualize everything in a single graphic.

Here’s what I came up with:

policies

The colors show “access scores” between 0 (no access for any reason) and 8 (available on-demand). Between those two extremes, there’s one point if abortion is allowed for each of the following reasons:

  1. The woman’s physical life/health
  2. Rape
  3. Incest
  4. Non-fatal fetal abnormalities
  5. The woman’s mental health
  6. The woman’s age
  7. The woman’s social condition, e.g. ability to care for a baby

The country/time regions are labeled by policy. If abortion is on-demand, there’s no label. Otherwise, r, i, f, and + indicate when various reasons are allowed, while L indicates the (rare) cases when abortion is not permitted to save the woman’s life.

I think this gives a richer picture, but it’s still missing a lot of nuance. Honestly, I’ve begun to doubt if a truly fair visual summary is even possible. There are two basic problems:

  • Formal policies are often vague, with decision-making delegated to boards or doctors. This makes everything illegible. In Switzerland, a woman can have an abortion after 12 weeks if there is a risk of serious psychological distress. But that risk is evaluated by individual doctors under varying guidelines set by each of the 26 Swiss cantons. How does that look in practice? I have no idea.
  • Abortion access is multidimensional. In Italy, only 30% of gynecologists will perform abortions and there’s no directory of who they are. In Germany, abortion is always illegal (sort of) but simply not punished in the first 14 weeks. In many places, abortions are allowed for serious fetal defects, but the meaning of “serious” varies. It’s impossible to capture all these things with a small set of features.

(Also, with 8 binary attributes, 32 regions, and 38 weeks I essentially had to determine if 9,728 different things were true or false. So, there are surely some errors—let me know if you see any.)

Still, I learned a lot from all this, so I’ve tried to distill the biggest lessons below. I’d also like to tell my tale of woe, why classifying these things is hard.

Canada is misunderstood

Canada is often seen as the country with the strongest abortion rights in the world. That’s true in some sense: Legally, abortion is not a criminal offense in Canada at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason.

But just because abortions are not illegal doesn’t mean they are available. Provinces can set regulatory limits on abortion, and all of them do:

Province Gestational Limit
Nunavut 12 weeks
Yukon, Prince Edward Island 12 weeks and 6 days
Newfoundland and Labrador 15 weeks
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia 16 weeks
Saskatchewan 18 weeks and 6 days
Manitoba, Northwest Territories 19 weeks and 6 days
Alberta 20 weeks
Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec 23 weeks and 6 days

There are no providers in Canada that offer abortions past 24 weeks unless the woman’s life is in danger or there are serious fetal abnormalities. Canadians who seek abortions after the limit set by their province are often referred to clinics in the US. Provincial governments have programs to pay for women to travel to the US for this purpose.

Access ≠ rights

Technically, abortion is never available on-demand in Great Britain. (Northern Ireland is a bit different from England/Scotland/Wales.) However, the law allows abortions up to 24 weeks if there is a “grave risk to the mental health” of the woman and nowadays abortion providers—who make the determination—almost always view the fact that a woman wants an abortion as proof that such a risk exists. Thus, abortion is de-facto available on demand for 24 weeks.

So, while the legal right to abortion seems stronger in Canada than in Britain, the actual level of access is often higher in Britain.

Germany is another example. The law states that abortion is always illegal, but that the conditions for punishment (imprisonment of both the doctor and the woman) “are not deemed fulfilled” if (a) it’s during the first 14 weeks (12 since conception), (b) the woman has obtained counseling, and (c) there’s been a three-day waiting period. (There is also an exception after 14 weeks for the woman’s mental or physical health.) Until 2019 it was illegal for doctors to advertise that they performed abortions. The effect seems to be that abortion is available on-demand during the first 12 weeks, but can be tricky to access.

Italy is sort of the opposite of Germany. Legally, there are zero restrictions on abortion in the first 90 days. However, gynecologists in Italy have the right to refuse to perform abortions, and the percentage who do so is around 70% and growing. Here’s the percentage who refused in 2016, via Autorino et al. (2020).

italy objecting doctors (Autorino et al. 2020)

There is no official list of who will perform an abortion, meaning that women may struggle to find a willing doctor. This right to conscientious objection by doctors is legally guaranteed in most of Europe. It gets the most attention in Italy but is probably an important factor in some other places too.

None of these subtleties are reflected in my classification scheme.

Israel is weird

I tried to fit Israel into the infographic—oh how I tried. But Israel breaks so many patterns that half my scoring system was becoming Israel-specific exceptions and in the end, I gave up. Here are the facts about Israel:

  • Abortions are illegal unless approved by committee.
  • The committees approve most but not-quite all requests (98%).
  • They consider basically every possible reason including rape, incest, the age of the woman, fatal or non-fatal fetal defects, and emotional or psychological damage.
  • Yet the most common reason by far (48%) is simply that the woman is unmarried.
  • It’s unclear what things look like in the 2% of cases the committees reject.
  • It’s illegal to perform an abortion in a private clinic.
  • Yet, half of abortions are done illegally in private clinics and without committee approval.
  • No one has ever been prosecuted for a non-approved abortion.
  • As of 2014, abortion is also free for all women aged 20-33, seemingly with no medical reason needed and no gestational limits.

I, uhh, I guess that’s quite close to de-facto abortion on demand? Not sure what political dynamics led Israel to leave abortion “illegal” but also add multiple redundant layers of extremely broad exceptions. Maybe the country has other priorities.

Decisions are often highly devolved

Another thing that makes abortion access so difficult to categorize is that many places have vague laws and leave things to be decided at low-levels. We saw above that gynecologists can often refuse to perform abortions. In Canada, Australia, and the US, regulations are mostly made by the states or provinces. In Finland and Norway, abortions after 12 weeks are reviewed by a national board. And in many other places, the criteria for later abortions are evaluated by individual doctors.

The formal criteria for the boards/committees/doctors making these decisions are almost always high-level things like “serious risk to the health of the woman”. But what is “serious”? I imagine that cultural norms develop over time, but I could rarely figure out what they were.

Much of this is surely because lawmakers realize there’s no way to codify the infinite variety of situations that can arise in messy reality. But I wonder if this illegibility serves another purpose—given that abortion is so controversial, perhaps making it harder to figure out exactly what’s happening also reduces the amount of strife?

Abortion is illegal in few places

Abortion is illegal in Poland, with exceptions only for rape or the woman’s health. Policies there were fairly permissive during the communist era but were greatly restricted since the 1990s. As recently as 2020, abortions were permitted for non-fatal fetal abnormalities, but this was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Tribunal.

Abortion is illegal in Monaco and Liechtenstein, with exceptions only for rape, the woman’s health, and fetal defects. There was a referendum in Liechtenstein to legalize it in 2011, which was defeated 51.5% to 48.5%. But even if it had passed, Prince Alois had promised to veto it. (And if you expect people in Western Europe to chafe at hereditary monarchies threatening to bluntly overrule popular referenda, well, a follow-up campaign to eliminate the prince’s royal veto was defeated 76% to 24%.)

Abortion is also illegal in Andorra and Malta, with no exceptions, not even to save the life of the woman. Andorra considered legalizing abortion in 2018, which led to a strange situation: For that to happen, it would have to be approved by the co-prince of Andorra who also happens to be a Catholic bishop. But Pope Francis threatened that if the bishop approved it, he would immediately be expelled from the church, which would lead to his abdication as co-prince, putting Andorra in a governance crisis and endangering its independence from France and Spain. They did not legalize abortion.

As far as I can tell, if Malta wanted to change their law, there’s no medieval institution with the power to jump in and stop them.

It’s common to travel for abortion

Women in Liechtenstein typically travel to Switzerland or Austria, while women in Andorra usually go to France or Spain. Statistics are limited, but around 100 Andorran women have abortions in public Spanish hospitals every year. (Andorra’s population is only 77.5 thousand.) Before Ireland legalized abortion in 2019, thousands went to England or Wales for abortions each year.

I suspect that when it’s easier to travel for an abortion, this somewhat reduces the political pressure to change the law.

Here is per-capita GDP in 2020 in the most restrictive countries.

  • Poland: $17.8k
  • Malta: $33.3k
  • Andorra: $37.4k
  • Monaco: $137.7k
  • Liechtenstein: $169.0k

Surely it’s no coincidence relevant that Andorra, Monaco, and Liechtenstein are tiny specks of land next to countries where abortion is legal. And it’s probably also relevant that Andorra is rich, while Monaco and Liechtenstein are very rich.

Malta is a bit of a bit different. Besides being less rich, it’s an island. The only place at all close is Sicily where abortion—while legal—is difficult to access. Women in Malta often travel to Rome, Milan, or further-away countries like the UK, Germany, or the Netherlands.

The issue of travel also shows the limits of categorizing access by country. Compare a woman in Liechtenstein (where abortion is illegal) to a woman in rural Austria (where abortion is legal on demand). Theoretically speaking, the Austrian has greater rights. Yet, almost all doctors in Austria outside major cities refuse to perform abortions. So both women would need to travel to get an abortion, but the Liechtensteiner is likely more wealthy and needs to travel a shorter distance.

Abortion pills can also travel through the mail. There are entire organizations dedicated to shipping abortion pills into jurisdictions where they are prohibited. This happens in Malta. It was also common in Ireland before abortion was legalized—Irish customs would sometimes seize the pills but rarely (if ever) prosecuted anyone for ordering them. To this day, the UK occasionally prosecutes and jails women for ordering and using medication for late-term abortions.

Health of the woman is a tricky concept

In almost every locality I studied (except Malta and Andorra) abortion is legal to preserve the life or health of the woman. But what does this mean, exactly?

For example, say a pregnant woman is diagnosed with cancer. Cancer treatments like radiation or chemotherapy can cause a miscarriage or birth defects. Is that treatment allowed if it has a 10% chance of saving the woman’s life? A 50% chance? Can a woman have an abortion before starting the treatment?

Irish history is instructive. In 1992 the Irish supreme court held in Attorney General v. X that women have the right to an abortion if their life is at risk. However, in 2012 Savita Halappanavar went to a hospital complaining of lower back pain. She was 17 weeks pregnant and doctors discovered that her pregnancy was doomed to fail. However, after her water broke, the fetus was not expelled. She asked doctors to perform an abortion but doctors refused to do so, which ultimately led to her developing sepsis and dying.

It was debated if the doctors correctly interpreted existing law. Still, Halappanavar’s death led to Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act of 2013 which expanded/clarified the situations in which abortions should be performed to prevent risk to a woman’s health. It also may have contributed to the population approving in 2019 the 36th amendment which legalized abortion in Ireland.

So while almost everywhere allows abortion to save a woman’s life or health, the exact criteria are varying and murky. Sometimes the criteria include things like risk of suicide that require significant judgement. And usually, the decisions are made by small committees or individual doctors with little public information on how they interpret the statutes in practice.

After a lot of research, I eventually concluded that I couldn’t fairly and reliably score these differences. So, while very important, they don’t factor into the visualization other than separating Malta and Andorra from the rest of the rich world.

Fetal abnormality is a tricky concept

Most places in the world seem to allow abortions at any time if the fetus has a fatal defect. For example, in Ireland, abortion is allowed after 12 weeks if the fetus would die within 28 days of birth. Similar things are true at least in Iceland, Sweden, Great Britain, and Singapore.

It was difficult to find clear answers about where abortion is allowed for fatal defects. Often there would not appear to be any such exception in popular descriptions, but after a lot of digging—like finding and reading the actual law—-I would find that it did in fact exist. While it is not true everywhere (e.g. it was not true in Ireland before 2019) I decided it was common-enough and hard-enough to determine that I gave up on using it as a criterion.

Some places also allow abortions for non-fatal defects. Here the exact criteria are again difficult to evaluate. Is it allowed for Down syndrome? Tay-Sachs? Phenylketonuria? Hemophilia? In most cases it’s hard to find clear answers—the decisions seem to be delegated to small committees or individual doctors.

Ultimately, I decided to classify countries by a simple binary “is abortion allowed for at least some non-fatal fetal abnormalities?” This captures only a fraction of the spectrum of policy differences but was the most informative thing I could check semi-reliably.

Weeks are defined in different ways

When determining the number of weeks, most places count since the start of the last menstrual period. This is a little odd, since one can’t actually become pregnant until around 2 weeks after this, but I suppose it makes counting easier. A couple places define limits with respect to conception (Belgium, Germany—contact me if you are aware of others). In my graphic, I added two weeks to any limit defined with respect to conception.

Late-term abortion on-demand is nonexistent outside the US

Most abortions in the US take place in the first trimester and the vast majority before the end of the second trimester (around 24 weeks). Here are the statistics from the CDC for 2019:

Weeks % of abortions
≤ 6 42.9
7–9 36.4
10–13 13.4
14–15 2.9
16–17 1.7
18–20 1.6
≥ 21 1.0

Still, several US states allow abortion on-demand with no gestational limits: Colorado, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont. It’s also legal in Alaska, but there do not appear to be any clinics that actually do it. As far as I can tell, there is no other place in the rich world where abortion on-demand exists after the second trimester except (maybe-sorta-kinda) Israel.

Florida still has more access than much of Europe

In April of 2022, Florida passed a law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions only for fatal fetal abnormalities or a serious health risk to the woman. This is being challenged in court based on the Florida state constitution’s right to privacy, but remains in effect in the meantime. Virginia is considering something similar, perhaps with more exceptions.

How should this change be contextualized? Well, previously abortion was available on-demand in Florida for 24 weeks, equivalent to the most permissive countries like the Netherlands, Singapore, or some parts of Canada. It’s now more restricted but is still broader than countries that restrict abortion earlier than the 15th week, like France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Portugal, or Italy. (Although Florida has fewer exceptions than most of these places after the on-demand period.)

Near-total abortion bans are rare

On the other hand, several states have banned abortion from conception, with only exceptions for the life of the woman (no exceptions for rape, incest, or lethal fetal abnormalities): Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. (For Texas, the law is currently held up in court.)

These laws are more restrictive than almost anywhere else in the rich world. Poland is similar, but is it “rich”? Poland’s per-capita GDP is only 26% as high as the US and 42% as high as the poorest US state (Mississippi). In truth, I included Poland but skipped many countries that are richer (Cyprus, Slovenia, Estonia) just because Poland has unusually restrictive abortion laws and it felt weird to omit it.

Aside from Poland, the only other places with similar restrictions are Liechtenstein, Monaco, Malta, and Andorra—a bunch of heavily Catholic microstates. These countries have a combined population of around 680k people, 44 times smaller than the state of Texas. If El Paso was a country, it alone would have a larger population.

If you take all the people in the rich world who currently live somewhere where abortion is almost fully banned, almost all of them live in the United States.

Summary

Rich countries are not monolithic. However, outside the US and a few microstates, they vary in a limited range: Abortion is available on-demand (de-jure or de-facto) for between 12 and 24 weeks, plus later under varying exceptional circumstances.

The US is unusual in both directions. Some states now ban abortion from conception with exceptions only for the pregnant woman’s life. This is more restrictive than almost anywhere else. But some states also allow abortion on-demand at any time. This also does not exist almost anywhere else in the rich world.

Appendix: Rough notes on individual countries

Austria

On demand for first three months. Can be performed later if there is a mental or physical health threat to the mother, if the mother is under the age of 14, or if the child is at risk of being born with a serious physical or mental defect. Doctors are free to refuse to perform abortions and many do. There are very few abortion clinics outside major cities. The government health system does not pay for abortions.

Australia

Varies by state. Available on demand for varying lengths in different states ranging from 16 weeks in Tasmania to 24 weeks in Victoria, and no limit in the Australian Capital Territory. Later-term abortions generally require the approval of two doctors, which have various conditions.

In New South Wales (the most populous state) the current law is that abortion is available on demand up to 22 weeks and after that if two doctors agree it is “appropriate, based on the woman’s current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances”. It’s unclear to me how doctors interpret this in practice and how rape, incest, or fetal health are considered.

In Tasmania, abortion is legal on demand up to 16 weeks. After 16 weeks abortions require the consent of two doctors on medical or psychological grounds. The state’s public health system only provides abortion in extraordinary circumstances, so most women use private clinics or fly to mainland Australia. Again, it’s unclear to me how doctors consider this in practice.

Belgium

Legal up to 14 weeks (12 weeks from conception). At later stages for serious risk of health of the woman or if the fetus has an “extremely serious and incurable disease”. This letter condition does encompass fetal abnormalities that would not lead to the death of the child if born. It is common for women in Belgium to travel to the Netherlands for abortions after 12 weeks. There is mandatory counseling and a mandatory 6 days waiting period. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0968533220920335

Canada

At a federal level, abortion is legal on demand at any time, paid for by the public health system. There are no criminal penalties for abortions. However, all provinces limit the availability of abortions via regulatory guidelines. These range from 12 weeks (Nunavut) to 24 weeks (British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec). There are only three clinics in all of Canada that actually offer abortions up to 24 weeks, one in each of the aforementioned provinces.

As far as I can tell, no providers in Canada offer abortions after 24 weeks unless the life of the pregnant woman is in danger or there are serious fetal abnormalities. Indeed, Canadians who want later-stage abortions often travel to the US. The serious fetal abnormalities appear to include at least some non-fatal conditions.

It’s not clear to me how gestational age is calculated—it seems this may be left up to the clinic, and that a majority use the last missed period, but I can’t find firm information on this point.

https://nafcanada.org/abortion-coverage-region/

https://www.actioncanadashr.org/resources/factsheets-guidelines/2019-09-19-access-glance-abortion-services-canada

https://www.arcc-cdac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/22-Later-Abortions.pdf

Denmark

On demand up to 12 weeks, later under circumstances like rape, risk of birth defects, poor socioeconomic conditions, mental health risk. After 12 weeks, pre-abortion counseling/consultation is required.

4% take place after 12 weeks: https://srh.bmj.com/content/familyplanning/45/2/95.full.pdf

Finland

De facto on-demand until 12th week (two doctor’s signatures needed, but these are readily obtained). Up to 20 weeks must be reviewed by national health authority, who considers the physical and mental health of the pregnant woman, health of the fetus, rape, incest, and the social situation of the parents. After 20 weeks, abortion is illegal unless unless there is a threat to the life of the mother.

I cannot determine if the number of weeks is defined with respect to conception or LMP.

France

Available up to 14 weeks on demand (extended from 12 weeks in Feb 2022), at later stages for serious risk of physical or mental health of the woman of fetal defects.

As far as I can tell, mental health is not liberally used for abortions after the deadline. (I can’t find any statistics.) At least before Feb 2022, it was common for women who wanted later abortions to travel to other countries like the UK that allowed them.

There is a 7 day waiting period (unless this would push pregnancy beyond 12 weeks)

Germany

Germany is unusual in defining limits as 12 weeks since conception, roughly equivalent to 14 weeks since the last menstrual period used in most other places.

Great Britain

Formally permitted only on the grounds of:

  1. Risk of death to the pregnant women
  2. Grave mental/physical harm to the pregnant woman.
  3. Risk that the child would suffer serious abnormalities if born
  4. Up to 24 weeks: Risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman

In practice, almost all abortions (98%) are performed on the final ground, to protect the woman’s mental health. It appears that this determination is made by the abortion provider, and that these providers tend to interpret the final provision liberally.

So, while abortion is technically criminal, in practice it is similar to abortion on demand up to 24 weeks.

Summary: de-facto abortion on demand up to 24 weeks, criminal after.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/23992026211040023

As far as I can tell (low confidence), rape or incest do not constitute valid reasons for abortion after 24 weeks.

Greece

On demand up to 12 weeks. For rape or incest up to 19 weeks. Up to 24 weeks for fetal abnormalities. At any time for the a serious risk to the physical or mental health of the mother.

Iceland

Legal on request until 22nd week. After that “if the life of the pregnant woman would be endangered were pregnancy to continue or if the fetus is not considered to be viable.” For all abortions, there is mandatory counseling before and after.

Wikipedia wasn’t very detailed, so here is the law.

Ireland

Abortion is legal up to 12 weeks with no justification needed. After 12 weeks, if two medical practitioners certify that there is a serious risk to life or health of the mother or that the fetus would likely not survive for 28 days after birth. After 12 weeks abortion is not legal for non-fatal conditions of the fetus.

The vast majority of abortions (98%) take place during the first 12 weeks.

https://assets.gov.ie/138755/6ae02c5a-c60b-4954-b438-8e8397eb0aaf.pdf

https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0968533220920335

Israel

Israel is a very difficult case to classify. Legally speaking, all abortions in Israel must be approved by committee determined by committee. The committee approved 98% of requests, meaning it isn’t quite a rubber-stamp. The reasons for approval include:

  • The woman was unmarried
  • Rape
  • Incest
  • The age of the woman
  • Fetal birth defects
  • Emotional or psychological damage

There is a separate set of committees for abortions beyond 24 weeks. Presumably the criteria become gradually more stringent but it’s hard to be sure.

However, despite all this, around half of abortions are performed in private clinics, without the approval of this committee. This is illegal, however, there are no known cases of prosecutions for violating this law.

Italy

Available up to 90 days on demand, at later stages for serious risk of health of the woman of fetal defects.

However, health professionals have the right to refuse to perform abortions. The percentage who do so is around 70% and slowly growing. In regions, women find it very difficult to find a doctor willing to perform an abortion—there is no official list.

Mandatory 7 day waiting period.

Liechtenstein

Abortion is illegal except for rape or the life of the mother. Women who want an abortion frequently cross into Switzerland or Austria.

Netherlands

On demand up to 24th week, available for “serious medical reasons” after 24 weeks. After the first trimester two doctors must consent. Apparently this consent is easy to obtain until around the 22nd week, but can be harder after.

18% of abortions are done after 13 weeks.

A mandatory 5 day waiting period was recently repealed. It will not be in effect as of January 2023.

New Zealand

Abortion is almost never illegal in New Zealand: The only case where it is a criminal offense is if it is performed by someone who is not a licensed health practitioner performs it.

However, it is still regulated. Up to 20 weeks, a health practitioner may provide abortion services if they feel it is appropriate. As far as I can tell, this amounts to on-demand access. After 20 weeks, the practitioner may perform abortion if they deem it “clinically appropriate” and they consult a second practitioner. However, the two practitioners do not need to agree.

I’m highly unsure how difficult it would currently be to obtain an abortion in New Zealand after 20 weeks. The law changes very recently—until then the two-practitioner thing was required at all stages. Many people online claim that this was pro-forma and nearly always accepted, but between 2009 and 2019, 2566 requests for abortion were rejected, so this definitely wasn’t a total rubber stamp.

My best guess is that under the new law, abortion is essentially available on demand up to 20 weeks. After 20 weeks the situation is opaque enough that I’m not sure how to classify it.

Norway

Abortions gradually get more difficult to obtain later in pregnancy:

  • Until the 12th week they are available on demand
  • Between the 12th and 18th week, there is an application process and things are reviewed by a board. It’s not clear what’s considered but it seems to include a broad range of issues.
  • Between the 18th and 22nd week, pregnancy can only be terminated if there is a “grave risk”.
  • After the 22nd week (or viability), abortion is illegal. However, if something is seriously wrong with the fetus abortion is still available.

I can’t quite figure out how much the strictness changes at the 22 week boundary so I haven’t reflected it above. I think the change is more legal than anything else? Would appreciate some more clarity here.

Singapore

Available on request up to 24 weeks or beyond that if the woman’s life is in danger or there is a lethal fetal abnormality. There is a mandatory 2 day waiting period. https://www.aware.org.sg/information/abortion/

Spain

Available up to 14 weeks on demand. Up to 22 weeks abortion is allowed if pregnancy causes a “serious risk to life or health of the mother or fetus”. At later stages it is allowed only if “fetal anomalies incompatible with life are detected” or if “an extremely serious and incurable disease is detected within the fetus”. There is a 3 day waiting period.

Sweden

On demand until 18th week. Until 22nd week, permission might be granted by national board of health and welfare, usually when fetus or mother are not healthy. Abortions illegal after viability, usually considered to be the 22nd week. However, if the fetus could not survive later abortions are still allowed. I think the key difference is that an issue like Down syndrome would no longer be considered after the 22nd week.

Switzerland

Legal for up to 12 weeks after mandatory counseling for women who state they are in distress. Legal for severe physical or psychological threats to the mother at any later time. The public health insurance system covers abortions.

Appendix: Log of updates

2022-07-18:

  • Initial post

2022-07-23:

  • Added 2 weeks to Belgium+Germany (since limits are defined since conception)
  • Removed exceptions for Germany after 14 weeks (until 24 weeks it is not punishable for the woman but is still punishable for doctors, meaning not available unless life of the woman at stake; only change at 24 weeks is it becomes punishable for the woman.)

2022-07-29:

  • Removed New Hampshire from list of states with no gestational limits. (As of Jan 1, 2022 it is limited after 24 weeks.)
  • Remove text implying that rape is an exception after 14 weeks.

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