Several European countries have enacted progressive reforms to their abortion laws or taken steps to remove harmful procedural or regulatory barriers that obstruct access to legal abortion.
European Abortion Laws: A Comparative Overview—a recently updated report by the Center for Reproductive Rights—provides an overview of abortion laws and policies in all 47 European countries, as well as remaining barriers to accessing care.
Today almost all European countries allow abortion on request or on broad social grounds, at least in the first trimester of pregnancy, and almost all countries also ensure that abortion is legal throughout pregnancy when necessary to protect the health or life of a pregnant individual.
The report outlines:
- Grounds for legal access to abortion in all European countries, with 42 countries legalizing abortion on request or broad social grounds.
- The five outlier countries with highly restrictive abortion laws.
- Remaining barriers impeding access to care, including religious refusals, mandatory counseling and waiting periods, third-party authorizations, time limits, criminal sanctions, and more.