Abortion laws vary dramatically around the world – in some countries it’s a personal choice, in others it’s flatly illegal, and in many countries abortions are only accepted in certain situations such as fetal impairment or in cases of rape.
The United States is one of around 60 countries that provide legal access to safe abortions. Although abortion has been legal in the US since 1973, access to treatment depends on laws determined by each state, and most states have established gestational limits that vary from 20 to 24 weeks.
Though the abortion debate has frequently taken center stage in US politics, the number of abortions has been generally declining since the 1990s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
An executive action signed by President Donald Trump on Day One of his term of office has put abortion laws once again under the spotlight.
Trump reinstated the so-called Mexico City Policy, or “global gag rule,” which bars international nongovernmental organizations that perform or promote abortions from receiving US governmental funding.
“The President, it’s no secret, has made it very clear that he’s a pro-life president,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters. “He wants to stand up for all Americans, including the unborn, and I think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects taxpayer funding as well.”
Marie Stopes International, an NGO that provides contraception and abortion services, called Trump’s order “catastrophic,” saying that women in developing countries will end up “paying the price.”
The NGO said the loss of its family planning services during Trump’s four years in office could cause 6.5 million unintended pregnancies, 2.2 million abortions, 2.1 million unsafe abortions and 21,700 maternal deaths.
Here’s a look at where abortion laws stand around the world: