Abortion Laws Around the World

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As women who travel, we genetically have additional worries that our male friends do not: namely, the possibility of pregnancy while traveling.

I feel it’s important to state that we are not taking a stand here on the political/personal reasons that women receive abortions.

But, things happen, and we want you to be informed of your legal options, no matter where in the world you are.

Below is a look at the legal stance of abortions around the world. You may be surprised at what you didn’t know!

Did you know: Abortion may be performed in almost all countries when the woman’s life is in danger, except in Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Malta and the Vatican City.

Countries Where Abortion is Legal: Albania, Armenia (in the first trimester), Australia, Austria (in the first trimester), Azerbaijan (first trimester), Bahrain, Bangladesh (first trimester), Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria (first trimester), Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde (first trimester), China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic (first trimester), Denmark, Estonia, France (first trimester), Georgia (first trimester), Germany, Greece, Guinea Bissau (first trimester), Guyana (first trimester), Hungary, Italy (first trimester), Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgzstan (first trimester), Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova (first trimester), Mongolia (first trimester), Montenegro, Mozambique, Nepal (first trimester), Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan (first trimester), Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore (in first two trimesters), Slovakia (first trimester), Slovenia, South Africa (first trimester), Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikstan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine (first trimester), United States, Uzbekistan (first trimester), Vietnam, Yugoslavia.

The Break Down

  • Afghanistan: Illegal, except when the woman’s life is in danger.
  • Albania: Legal in all circumstances.
  • Algeria: Illegal, except to protect a woman’s life or mental health.
  • Andorra: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Angola: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life and only in the first trimester.
  • Antigua: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life and only in the first trimester.
  • Argentina: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life and in cases of rape and incest.
  • Armenia: Legal, in the first trimester.
  • Australia: Legal, generally.
  • Austria: Legal, in the first trimester.
  • Azerbaijan: Legal, in the first trimester.
  • Bahamas: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or mental health
  • Bahrain: Legal
  • Bangladesh: Legal, in the first trimester.
  • Barbados: Illegal on demand, but available to save the woman’s life, mental health or in instances of rape.
  • Belarus: Legal
  • Belgium: Legal
  • Belize: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life and in instances of rape.
  • Benin: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, mental health or in instances of rape or fetal defect.
  • Bhutan: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or in instances of rape.
  • Bolivia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or in instances of rape.
  • Bosnia: Legal
  • Botswana: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, in instances of rape or fetal defect.
  • Brazil: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life and in cases of rape.
  • Brunei: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Bulgaria: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Burkina Faso: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, mental health or in cases of fetal defect.
  • Burundi: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or mental health.
  • Cambodia: Legal
  • Cameroon: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or mental health, or in cases of rape.
  • Canada: Legal
  • Cape Verde: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Central African Republic: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Chad: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, mental health or in cases of fetal defect.
  • Chile: Illegal
  • China: Legal
  • Colombia: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life, mental health, or in cases of rape or fetal defect.
  • Comoros: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life or mental health.
  • Congo: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life.
  • Cook Islands: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life or mental health.
  • Costa Rica: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life.
  • Cote D’Ivoire: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life.
  • Croatia: Legal
  • Cuba: Legal
  • Cyprus: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life, mental health, in cases of rape or fetal defect.
  • Czech Republic: Legal in the first trimester
  • Denmark: Legal
  • Djibouti: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life or mental health
  • Dominica: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life.
  • Dominican Republic: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life.
  • Ecuador: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life or in cases of rape.
  • Egypt: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life.
  • El Salvador: Illegal
  • Equitorial Guinea: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life.
  • Eritrea: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life or in cases of rape.
  • Estonia: Legal
  • Ethiopia: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Fiji: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life, mental health, in cases of rape or defect.
  • Finland: Illegal, except to save a woman’s life, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • France: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Gabon: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Gambia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or mental health.
  • Georgia: Legal in the first trimester
  • Germany: Legal
  • Ghana: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, mental health or in cases of incest or rape.
  • Greece: Legal
  • Grenada: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Guatemala: Illegal, except to protect the woman’s life or health.
  • Guinea: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, mental health or in cases of incest or rap
  • Guinea Bissau: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Guyana: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Haiti: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Honduras: Illegal
  • Hong Kong: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health, or in cases of rape or defect
  • Hungary: Legal
  • Iceland: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health, or in cases of rape or defect.
  • India: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health, or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Indonesia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Iran: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or in cases of fetal defect (first trimester).
  • Iraq: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or in cases of fetal defect.
  • Ireland: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Israel: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Italy: Legal in the first trimester
  • Jamaica: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health.
  • Japan: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape or defect (2nd trimester)
  • Jordan: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or health.
  • Kazakstan: Legal
  • Laos: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Latvia: Legal
  • Lebanon: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Lesotho: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Liberia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Libya: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Liechenstein: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or health.
  • Lithuania: Legal
  • Luxemborg: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Macedonia: Legal
  • Madagascar: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Malawi: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Malaysia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health.
  • Malaysia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health in the first trimester
  • Maldives: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Mali: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or in cases of rape.
  • Malta: Illegal
  • Marshal Islands: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Mauritania: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Mauritius: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Mexico: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life and in cases of rape or defect.
  • Micronesia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Moldova: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Monaco: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Mongolia: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Montenegro: Legal.
  • Morocco: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or health.
  • Mozambique: Illegal, selectively allowed on demand.
  • Myanmar: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Namibia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Nauru: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health.
  • Nepal: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Netherlands: Legal.
  • New Zealand: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of fetal defect.
  • Nicaragua: Illegal.
  • Niger: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Nigeria: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health.
  • Niue: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Norway: Legal.
  • Oman: Illegal, except to save the woman;s life.
  • Pakistan: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Palau: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Panama: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Papua New Guinea: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health.
  • Palestinean Territory: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Paraguay: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Peru: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or health.
  • Philippines: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Poland: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health, or in cases of rape or defect (first trimester)
  • Portugal: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Qatar: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or health.
  • Romania: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Russia: Legal in the first trimester
  • Rwanda: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or health.
  • Saint Kitts: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health
  • Saint Lucia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape.
  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Samoa: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, or mental health.
  • San Marino: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Sao Tome and Pricipe: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life in the first trimester.
  • Saudi Arabia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Senegal: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Serbia: Legal
  • Seychelles: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Sierra Leone: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health.
  • Singapore: Legal through the 2nd trimester.
  • Slovakia: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Slovenia: Legal
  • Solomon Islands: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Somolia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • South Africa: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Spain: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Sri Lanka: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Sudan: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or in cases of rape.
  • Suriname: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Swaziland: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Sweden: Legal
  • Switzerland: Legal
  • Syria: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Taiwan: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Tajikstan: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Tanzania: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health
  • Thailand: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health, or in cases of rape or defect.
  • Togo: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, or in cases of rape or defect in the first trimester.
  • Tonga: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Trinidad & Tobago: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health.
  • Tunisia: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Turkey: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Turkmenistan: Legal in the first trimester.
  • Tuvalu: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • United Arab Emirates: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Uganda: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health or mental health.
  • Ukraine: Legal in the first trimester.
  • United Kingdom: Legal
  • United States: Legal
  • Uruguay: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, or mental health, rape or social impediment in the first trimester.
  • Uzbekistan: Legal in the first trimester
  • Vanuatu: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life or health.
  • Vatican City: Illegal.
  • Venezuela: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Vietnam: Legal.
  • Yemen: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life.
  • Yugoslavia: Legal
  • Zambia: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, mental health, or in cases of fetal defect or social impediment.
  • Zimbabwe: Illegal, except to save the woman’s life, health, or in cases of rape or defect.

For more information on abortion law around the world, visit PregnantPause.org.

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About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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