“Access to safe and legal abortion is critical for individuals’ ability to exercise their fundamental human rights and participate fully in society.”
— Katherine Mayall, director of strategic initiatives
For decades, the overwhelming global trend has been towards liberalization of abortion laws and increased access to abortion services.
Since 1994, 58 countries across all regions of the world have liberalized their abortion laws to expand the grounds under which abortion is legal.
Only four countries have regressed on abortion rights during that time: El Salvador, Nicaragua, Poland—and now, the United States. Each of these countries has removed legal grounds for abortion care—as the U.S. Supreme Court did in June when it revoked the constitutional right to abortion and cleared the way for states to ban abortion entirely.
The Center’s new infographic, “Global Trends: Abortion Rights,” shows all the countries that have progressed on abortion rights, and the very few that have regressed.
“Access to safe and legal abortion is critical for individuals’ ability to exercise their fundamental human rights and participate fully in society,” said Katherine Mayall, the Center’s director of strategic initiatives. “Recognition of the human rights implications of abortion has been a key driver towards the liberalization of abortion laws worldwide.”
To find out details about abortion laws and policies in all countries, explore the Center’s interactive World Abortion Laws map here.