Abortion Is Still Banned In All These Countries

Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Following a landslide victory for the Repeal campaign in Ireland's historic referendum last week, pressure is mounting on other countries with similarly draconian laws to legalise abortion too.
In Northern Ireland, pro-choice politicians and campaigners want to liberalise the country's strict stance, which is now out of step with the rest of the UK and the rest of the island of Ireland. Abortion is also back in the spotlight in many other countries around the world, including Poland, where women have been protesting the government's plan to further restrict its abortion laws, which are already some of the most stringent in Europe.
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Among the world's 1.64 billion women of reproductive age, fewer than four in 10 (37%) live in countries where abortion is permitted in all circumstances and 6% live in countries where it is banned completely.
There are still 26 countries in which abortion is completely banned with no exceptions, according to The Guttmacher Institute. This includes one European Union country: the predominantly Catholic Malta, where women face up to three years in jail if they terminate a pregnancy. It's also banned in the European (but not EU) countries of Andorra and San Marino.
Meanwhile, abortion is prohibited in a further 37 countries unless it is necessary to save a woman's life. Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, Indonesia and the UAE are some of the major economies in which this is the case.
Abortion is also permitted only in cases in which it would protect the woman's health in a further 36 countries, three of which are in Europe (Poland, Lichtenstein and Monaco), along with South Korea, Argentina and Qatar.
A further 24 countries restrict access to abortion unless it is necessary to protect a woman's mental health (as well as to protect her life and physical health). Northern Ireland is among this group, as well as New Zealand, Israel, Malaysia, Colombia and Thailand.
For a visual comparison of women's right to the practice around the world, the US non-profit the Centre for Reproductive Rights produces a map of the world's abortion laws every year, and has done since 1998.
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Countries where abortion is illegal in all circumstances

Andorra
Angola
Congo-Brazzaville
Congo-Kinshasa
Dominican Republic
Egypt
El Salvador
Gabon
Guinea-Bissau
Haiti
Honduras
Iraq
Laos
Madagascar
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Micronesia
Nicaragua
Palau
Philippines
San Marino
Sao Tome & Principe
Senegal
Suriname
Tonga

Countries where abortion is illegal unless it's to save a woman's life

Afghanistan
Antigua & Barbuda
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brazil
Brunei
Chile
Côte d’Ivoire
Darussalam
Dominica
Guatemala
Indonesia
Iran
Kiribati
Lebanon
Libya
Malawi
Mali
Mexico
Myanmar
Nigeria
Oman
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Sudan
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Timor-Lest
Tuvalu
Tanzania
Uganda
United Arab Emirates
Venezuela
West Bank & Gaza
Yemen

Countries where abortion is illegal unless it's to save a woman's life or preserve her physical health

Argentina
Bahamas
Benin
Bolivia
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cameroon
Cen. African Rep.
Chad
Comoros
Costa Rica
Djibouti
Ecuador
Equatorial Guinea
Ethiopia
Grenada
Guinea
Jordan
Kenya
Kuwait
Lesotho
Liechtenstein
Maldives
Monaco
Morocco
Niger
Pakistan
Peru
Poland
Qatar
Rwanda
Saudi Arabia
South Korea
Togo
Vanatu
Zimbabwe

Countries where abortion is illegal unless it's to save a woman's life, preserve her physical health or her mental health

Algeria
Botswana
Colombia
Eritrea
Gambia
Ghana
Jamaica
Israel
Liberia
Malaysia
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Nauru
New Zealand
Northern Ireland
Samoa
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Lucia
Swaziland
Thailand
Trinidad & Tobago
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